Why we're still debating guns in 2016

Story highlights

  • Experts from both sides of the debate offer their views on the issue of guns in America

(CNN)CNN Opinion rounded up a selection of op-eds from both sides of the gun debate in America--one that continues to rage, with highly publicized shootings in Charleston, Chattanooga, Lafayette, Roanoke, the campus of Umpqua Community College in Oregon, and San Bernardino, California, where at least 14 people were killed in December. Where are we today on guns and mass shootings? Here are experts' opinions on the issue. Watch President Obama as he joins Anderson Cooper and a live audience for a CNN Prime time event: Guns in America, Thursday Night, 8 pm ET.

Julian Zelizer: Why nothing happens on gun control
    Julian Zelizer
    Why does gun reform fail, no matter how intense the outrage from horrendous attacks?
      The most important and obvious factor is exactly what the President mentioned: the overwhelming power of the gun lobby.
      This is one of the most sophisticated lobbies in the country. The National Rifle Assocation and other gun rights organizations employ a full arsenal of lobbying tools -- from disputed constitutional arguments, to a massive campaign finance war chest, to voter mobilization drives -- that are enough to influence members of both parties.
      In the 2014 midterm elections, the NRA spent $12 million, with 95% of its candidates victorious. Whenever the issue comes up in Congress, the NRA mobilizes and makes it clear that there will be payback for any representative or senator who supports gun control. Read more ...
      Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University and a New America fellow. He is the author of "Jimmy Carter" and "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society."
      Carol Costello: Feel disrespected? Pull a gun
      We require every single person in every state in this country to pass a driving proficiency test before they're issued a license to get behind the wheel. So why not require that wannabe gun owners pass a gun proficiency test before they are issued a license to obtain and shoot a gun?
      Under our current federal laws, states require little more than filling out a form in order to buy and use a gun. Depending on where a gun is purchased, the applicant may have to undergo a criminal background check, and wait a couple days before they can purchase a firearm. The fact that it's so easy is a matter of national pride. Read more ...
      Carol Costello anchors the 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET edition of CNN's "Newsroom" each weekday.
      Daniel Webster: How America swallowed the gun lobby's Kool-Aid
      Daniel W. Webster