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Obama Unveils Gun Control Proposals

The recommendations are a result from Vice President Biden's commission that investigated U.S. gun laws in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

In an address to the public Wednesday afternoon, President Barack Obama announced that he will sign 23 executive actions that provide law enforcement, schools, mental health professionals and the public health community more tools to combat gun violence.

The actions include launching a responsible gun ownership campaign, having the Consumer Product Safety Commission review standards for gun safes and locks, nominating a director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and directing the Center for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

Obama also want to improve incentives and look at removing any unnecessary legal barriers that may prevent states from sharing information with the federal background check system, a move that could help legislation similar to State Representantive Todd Stephen's bill that would add Pennsylvania's mental health records to the national database.

The President's announcement comes from recommendations presented by Vice President Joe Biden after he and other Cabinet members conducted meetings with representatives from the gun, video game and health care industry as well as religious leaders and advocacy groups.

As Obama uses the power of the Executive Office to address gun safety, he has also called on Congress to enact stricter laws and statutes in the months to come.

"To make a real and lasting difference," Obama said in a prepared statement, "Congress, too, must act - and Congress must act soon.  And I’m calling on Congress to pass some very specific proposals right away." 

The President has proposed the following:

  • Require a universal background check for anyone trying to buy a gun;
  • Ban military-style assault weapons and a 10-round limit on magazines;
  • Harsher punishments for illegal gun sales and trafficking;
  • Act on the administration's $4 billion proposal to keep 15,000 police officers employed;
  • Confirming the nomination of Todd Jones as ATF director.

"I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality," Obama said in a statement released by the White House. "Because while there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, if there is even one thing we can do to reduce this violence – if even one life can be saved – we have an obligation to try."

The actions take place 33 days after 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., were killed in a shooting that shook the nation. The tragedy brought shined a bright spotlight on the gun debate, as gun control supporters demanded stricter legislation while many gun owners resented what they saw as a politicization of the massacre. 

Response was swift after Obama presented his proposals. The National Rifle Association released a short but direct statement to the media.

"Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation," the organization said in the statement. "Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy."

Local officials also weighed in on the stronger push for new gun control measures. Representative Allyson Schwartz (PA-13) applauded the administration's announcement, calling it a "comprehensive plan to keep guns out of the wrong hands."

On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) stressed the need for a bipartisan approach to the issue that includes input from all branches of the government. He recognized the need for the proposed measures and the need for stronger enforcement for current laws.

"Our focus should be on measures which have the widest positive effect that have the support of both Republicans and Democrats in Congress," siad Fitzpatrick in a statement released by his office. "My sense is those include background checks and mental health records reporting with the goal of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people."

Jon Walker January 17, 2013 at 02:19 AM
I tried something tonight. I loaded my "assault rifle" with a 30 round magazine and left it unleashed by the open back door. Darndest thing happened, my rifle didn't run away and start hurting people. I must be lucky and have the nicest and best behaved rifle in the world considering how evil these guns are. I wish people were so behaved.
The Illuminati January 17, 2013 at 03:53 AM
AR-15s were used in fewer than 400 murders last year. That's a fact. Hammers were used in over 600 murders. When will Obama act to ban hammers? Cars kill approximately 7000 people per month. Alcohol kills approximately 6000 people per month. I don't see anyone calling for hammer, car and booze bans? Oh but they say "why do you need an assault rifle that has a 30 round magazine?" Well...why do you need a BMW or a Corvette that does 200 mph? Why don't we pass legislation that restricts all cars speed to 65 mph max? We certainly have the technology to do that...but that would restrict peoples freedom they cry!
Tony Simek January 17, 2013 at 12:16 PM
BO put on a good show, didn't he? Like everyting he's done since taking office, it won't accomplish anything. Just another signature "failure". But he did put on a good show.
Siobhra DeWar January 17, 2013 at 12:17 PM
I noticed Code Pink protested the NRA for talking about putting armed guards in schools. I wonder where they were when Obama asked for more cops in the schools. I noticed that cops are armed. Why is something so horrible and so disgusting of an idea when the NRA says it suddenly becomes a great idea when Obama say's it?
James T. Cunningham January 17, 2013 at 12:52 PM
Need to put a psychiatrist in every gunshop
Jason Gutekunst January 17, 2013 at 01:18 PM
I would like to have seen him at least address the Hollywood culture of violence. I watched the new Batman movie last week and was surprised when the bad guy walked into a bank and just blew people away. I am not trying to harm free speech, but Obama is "in" with the Hollywood crowd, he could have asked them to tone down the violence slightly... Wishful thinking I know.
William F. Brenner January 17, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Here is a link to a very interesting (though lengthy) article written by a Chapman Distinguished Professor of Law. It explains in detail the history of the 2nd Amendment, in particular what the phrase "well-regulated militia" means. Clearly, the NRA deliberately misrepresents what the founders really intended to say in the 2nd Amendment. http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/FinkelmanChicago.htm
Bill Sams January 17, 2013 at 02:50 PM
Well Obama Supporters get ready for the Communist takeover. You asked for it. The NRA offered their solution but The Alien said No. So Be It AMERICA.
Yikes! January 17, 2013 at 03:01 PM
If auto weapons ban laws were 'constitutional' before they expired, they still are. End of argument. Just let it go people, no one is trying to take your rights away! The President's requests are wholly reasonable. You are not. NRA arguments are childish, and thankfully you are outnumbered. Stop living in the past, this is not the wild west nor is it 1780. Good to know that you left your loaded weapon by an open door John W....keep typing, you crazed gun nuts are disproving your case day by day. It's awesome!
Yikes! January 17, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Sorry Bill - "the Communist Takeover" ? Really??? You are both unwise and dangerous. It's a shame you are also literate and have a computer (hopefully you don't have an arsenal too). Referring to our ELECTED President as The Alien? Have you no sense of respect for anyone or any thing - oh say, like our democratic system? YOU are the Alien, if you don't like the house you live in then move out. There are plenty of other places to live in the world. Perhaps you would feel better over in the Middle East...
William F. Brenner January 17, 2013 at 05:54 PM
I'm glad to see there's at least one other person posting here who doesn't think that reasonable controls on guns automatically means the Armageddon has begun!
Anthony January 17, 2013 at 06:02 PM
It is a shame that the Liberals are using a horrific event to make a political stance. Guns are not the issue and no law can stop the attacks. We need to restrict who has access to them (more focus on the mentally insane) and better protect our schools and children. Armed Guards or police, while expensive, are not a crazy idea. Obama is protected by armed security and his children attend a school that has armed guards.
Mike L. January 17, 2013 at 06:13 PM
the difference is a hammer and a car have purposes other than killing people. The only thing an assault weapon is designed for is to kill multiple people rapidly. Not sure where you get your facts but the bottom line is people choose to get in a car, choose to drink alcohol. First graders don't CHOOSE to go to school have someone shoot them. Get a grip.
Mike L. January 17, 2013 at 06:16 PM
it's a shame you lunatic gun huggers are so deadset on preventing ANY common sense laws on guns from going through. You may have a right to your guns but I (and my children) have a right to our LIVES. Are you so insecure and paranoid that you need to stockpile magazines and assault weapons. And you think that is your right?? What about the children, do they have rights? NRA should rot in hell as far as I'm concerned.
Cindy Range January 17, 2013 at 07:04 PM
Good assault riffle, good boy!! ;-) All our guns and riffles are well behaved, too!
Gerard January 17, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Mike L, are you doing a perfect job with your children? Maybe the government should take them away since they seem to think they know better, despite the fact that they can't run or accomplish anything in an efficient manner. Moderation is called for here as both sides of the issue have compelling arguments and a middle ground needs to be found.
Nicole January 17, 2013 at 09:29 PM
Why can' Johnny read? Because the teachers are teaching sex and drug education, screening for ADD, now to be screening for potential psychological problems. And now we are taking recess away because we have to keep up with other countries. No wonder kids are killing one another. Let's have the teachers, or better yet the legislators, run on the type of schedule they ask of the average high schooler. For my kids, it was up at 5:30, on the bus at 6:30, school till 2:30, activities, then dinner and homework until after 11. All so there can be time in the day for gender awareness, gay rights awareness, sex ed (one of my kids had an assignment to draw a penis with a condom going over it), drug ed....blah, blah, blah.
William F. Brenner January 17, 2013 at 09:39 PM
You ask "Why can' Johnny read?" I'm having a hard time understanding what, if anything, this has to do with gun control?
Mike Shortall Sr January 17, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Well, after after you raised $14 million in one trip to George Clooney's tennis courts, you certainly aren't going to bite the hand that feeds you!
Mike Shortall Sr January 17, 2013 at 10:16 PM
Instead of trying to divine what the Founding Fathers intended when they decided to write such a poorly worded Constitutional Amendment, maybe we should look to what they actually did when they were serving as Chief Executives. Once the War of 1812 was fought and - in theory at least - there was no longer the need for "militias", none of the FFs who helped write The Constitution or the Bill of Rights, not James Madison or John Adams, not even Thomas Jefferson demanded that U.S. citizens give up their guns. Some of their own words: "Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." (James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244) "No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." (Thomas Jefferson,1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334,[C.J.Boyd, Ed., 1950]) Or what the FFs might have written had they not been concerned so much with efficacy: "The right of the people to keep and bear...arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country..." (James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 [June 8, 1789]) In the end, none of the FFs seemed to think disarming the AMerican population was a good idea.
Mike Shortall Sr January 17, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Anyone who thinks their children will be safer just because new gun laws are passed are not paying attention to what's going on around them. When the Government itself is handing out weapons to the most dangerous criminals (Fast & Furious), how can you expect anything they might propose will keep a law-biding citizen "safer"?!?
Nicole January 21, 2013 at 03:30 AM
William, I meant why can't Johnny read. Part of Obama's gun control initiative will have teachers, in addition to all their other teaching/social work duties, screening for psychological problems. Where are the parents?
SAFSDF February 20, 2013 at 01:31 AM
Thank you very much for your kindness and efforts to helping us in many ways. More powers to you. http://www.lifehealthly.com health articles
Rush Limbo February 23, 2013 at 02:50 PM
Why hasn't anyone reported on how many senseless deaths Obama Care will inflict on the american people?

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