Gun violence has been splayed across front pages with alarming frequency lately: the movie theater killings in Colorado, the Sikh temple shootings in Wisconsin, the gunfire outside the Empire State Building and more. Guns are used in two-thirds of homicides, according to the FBI. But the murder rate is less than half what it was two decades ago.
Neither Obama nor Romney has had much to say about guns during the campaign. Obama hasn't pushed gun control measures as president; Romney says new gun laws aren't needed.
It's getting harder to argue that stricter gun laws are needed when violent crime has been decreasing without them.
But the next president may well fill at least one Supreme Court seat, and the court is narrowly divided on gun control. An Obama appointee could be expected to be friendlier to gun controls than would a Romney nominee.
This undated photograph released by the Maine State Police shows weapons gathered from the home and vehicle of Timothy Courtois, of Biddeford, Maine, who was arrested Sunday, July 22, 2012 on charges of having a concealed weapon and speeding on the Maine Turnpike. Found in his car were an assault weapon, four handguns and several boxes of ammunition.† A search of his home revealed several additional weapons, including a machine gun, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Courtois told authorities he was on his way to Derry, N.H., to shoot a former employer. He also said he had attended the Batman movie the previous night. (AP Photo/Maine State Police)