Update: January 7, 2015. Barak Obama says that guns are out shared responsibility. “Reducing gun violence will be hard, but if even one life is spared, they will be well worth the effort.” ~ President Obama
An emotional President Barack Obama just concluded a live address to the nation where he outlined new Executive Action to combat the pandemic of gun violence in the U.S.
Surrounded by Vice President Biden, former Senator Gabby Giffords, and a slew of families that experienced loss due to gun violence, the President enjoyed enthusiastic support as he made his case for what he calls “common sense” reform to our existing gun laws.
President Obama stated that the reason these executive actions are necessary is because, despite 90% support from the public on a measure to increase background checks for firearm purchases, 90% of Republicans voted against a bill trying to create stricter background check rules.
Entering to a standing ovation and loud applause, President Obama made a strong case for the necessity of enacting these measures.
Citing that 30,000 Americans have had their lives cut short recently due to gun violence, the President referenced Martin Luther King, Jr., stating that we need to act with a sense of the fierce urgency of now.
The President also tried to reassure those who believe this is a first step in trying to take away guns from law abiding citizens by saying that this is not the case and that we can find ways to reduce gun violence and be consistent with the Second Amendment.
President Obama emphasized that that guns will not be taken away from lawful owners and that most gun owners agree with these common sense reforms.
Here are some highlights of the specific actions the executive order will include:
- Any seller of firearms must have a license and conduct a background check on any sales. The President cited a loophole of purchasing guns on the internet where many criminals have been able to side-step background checks. This measure will require the seller to be licensed and the purchaser to pass a background check no matter where the weapon is sold.
- Existing background check procedures will be expanded and improved upon to avoid people being able to get around them. The process will be modernized and brought into the 21st century, which will also make the process smoother for law abiding sellers and owners.
- 200 additional ATF investigators will be added which will help recover thefts more quickly, among other things.
- Increased protection for victims of domestic violence will be added to existing laws.
- $500 million will be allocated to expand mental health treatments. Here the President noted the high amount of suicides that comprise the numbers of gun deaths.
- Increases on gun safety technology. More than 500 people (including 30 children under the age of five) have died in gun accidents in the past year. President Obama said, “If a child can’t open a bottle of aspirin, we should make sure they can’t pull the trigger on a gun.”
Check out President Obama’s full remarks here. (The President’s remark begin at 42:30.)
Author: Travis May
Photo: Screen Shot