U.S. Gun Control Debate: Polarizing Views


Ted NugentRocker and gun advocate Ted Nugent talks with CCTV’s Sean Callebs.

According to official estimates, there are between 270 and 310 million guns in the United States. That’s almost one firearm per man, woman, and child.

Gun rights activists, like long-time rock and roll star Ted Nugent, stand behind the 2nd amendment — the right to bear arms — as one of the cornerstones of America’s democracy. Nugent relishes his role as a defacto spokesman for the U.S. gun lobby and prides himself on an extensive collection of firearms — shotguns, pistols, even those U.S. troops take into combat — housed on his sprawling ranch, just outside of Waco, Texas. On the other hand, gun control advocate Patricia Maisch has witnessed the horrors of gun violence and is tired of the mantra: ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people.’ She was at a Tucson, Arizona supermarket, in early January 2011, when a man intent on murder opened fire on Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, shooting her in the head. The shooter killed 6 people and wounded 13 others. CCTV’s Sean Callebs explores both sides of this contentious debate, in a series examining guns in America.

U.S. Gun Control Debate: Polarizing Views

What are people to make of guns here in the United States? The answer is: a country that has more guns, not just per capita, but also by total number. More than any other-- some 270-to-310 million of them are in citizens' hands. CCTV's Sean Callebs takes us deeper inside the contentious debate, in a culture that some say has become "Gun Crazy."

In recent years, the U.S. has witnessed a spate of mass shootings. However, one of the deadliest incidents took place on August 1, 1966. A 25-year-old college student and ex-U.S. Marine climbed to the top of a clock tower at the University of Texas in Austin. He had already killed his mother and wife. He then shot and killed 13 people below. Shelton Williams witnessed this horrific event. He also knew the gunman, Charles Whitman. Some 45 years later, the events on that fateful day still have an impact on him, and he shares his insight with CCTV’s Mike Walter.

Impact of Mental Trauma Lingers over Decades

Mass shootings like the one that wounded Gabby Giffords are all too common these days. But they were virtually unheard of on August First, 1966. That's when a 25-year-old college student and ex-US Marine climbed to the top of a clock tower at the University of Texas in Austin. He had already killed his mother and wife. And just before noon he began firing on people below, killing 13. One of the students who witnessed it all was Shelton Williams. He knew the gunman, Charles Whitman. CCTV's Mike Walter is joined by him to talk about the gun shot.