Topic of the moment: guns

Let’s talk about guns.

More to the point, let’s listen to what some smart analysts, pundits, experts in many fields and journalists have to say about them.

There ought to be some fascinating discussion tonight on the PBS lineup of public affairs programming in the wake of President Obama’s dramatic announcement earlier in the week about how he thinks the nation can best stem gun violence.

The president announced a sweeping overhaul of federal gun policy. He commissioned Vice President Biden to lead a task force to come with some proposals. The panel did its work and Barack Obama delivered his proposals to the nation. They include restrictions on the size of ammunition magazines, a ban on assault weapons, comprehensive background checks on everyone who purchases a firearm and stricter penalties for those who commit crimes involving firearms.

The debate has been furious and it doesn’t seem set to subside any time soon.

But it requires some analysis and discussion. The “PBS NewsHour” will be shown on KACV-TV at 6 p.m. Friday and no doubt the program will highlight discussion of the gun proposals offered in the wake of the Dec. 14 Newtown, Conn., tragedy that resulted in the deaths of 20 children and six educators at Shady Hook Elementary School. “Washington Week in Review” airs for 30 minutes beginning at 7 p.m., where the discussion will continue.

There has been talk of impeaching the president over the executive orders he signed pertaining to the gun laws. Gun-rights groups have begun their offensive to defeat the measures. Gun-control groups are pressuring members of Congress to enact legislation to tighten regulations.

Make no mistake, the Shady Hook tragedy has touched the nation in a way rarely seen or felt in anyone’s memory.

The debate has just begun. It will continue through most of the year. Public television will be on the air to provide cold, hard analysis of every angle on this most contentious issue.

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