“The gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage right now, but they cannot hold America hostage.”
U.S. President Barack Obama is taking executive action to tighten gun control, and today he announced a number of initiatives.
“Until we have a Congress that’s in line with a majority of Americans. there are actions within my legal authority that we can take to help reduce gun violence and save more lives. Actions that protect our rights and our kids.”
Obama says it’s about protecting the people of today and future generations, and that gun control is not a plot to take away everyone’s guns, as many opponents have suggested.
Gun control actions include:
- More support services for people suffering from mental health issues
- Including federal mental health records with background checks
- Updating and streamlining background checks
- 200 more enforcement agents tasked to crackdown on existing laws
- More onus on gun dealers, who must conduct proper gun license and background checks on buyers, or face criminal prosecution
- Technology to improve gun safety, including child-proofing guns and gun-tracking technology for lost and stolen guns
Obama gets emotional discussing Sandy Hook
“Every time I think about those kids it gets me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago everyday.”
At one point when talking about young children who have been gunned down, Obama had to pause to collect himself.
He also addressed the phenomenon of children firing guns accidentally, saying if we can create child-proof bottles of aspirin, then we should be able to child-proof guns.
Gun Show showdown
Yesterday his administration announced it would close the gun show loophole, which allows gun collectors and hobbyists to sell weapons at gun shows and online, without conducting background checks on the buyers.
Obama acknowledged today that while gun control will not happen overnight, neither did emancipation from slavery, women’s right to vote, nor gay and lesbian rights.
Critics have previously said this plan won’t prevent mass shootings similar to ones like that of 2012’s Sandy Hook, or last month’s San Bernadino, California incident.
Obama says he rejects that thinking.
The Republicans in Congress say they’ll continue to oppose the President’s move, though in his speech today Obama ran down a list of Republicans who have publicly supported gun control, asking, “How did this become such a partisan issue?”