President Obama's Gun Control Initiatives Will Be Here Even Sooner Than You Expected
On Monday afternoon, President Obama addressed executive action on gun control legislation. In a meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey, President Obama discussed potential gun proposals he could present in the wake of mass shootings across the nation. He called it his "New Year's resolution" to tie up some loose ends in the final year of his presidency, and predictably, his proverbial "white whale" — that is, gun control — is at the top of that list.
Preceding this important meeting during his weekly address, the president expressed his motivation for his planned executive action, stating:
The gun lobby is loud and well-organized in its defense of effortlessly available guns for anyone. The rest of us are going to have to be just as passionate and well-organized in our defense of our kids.
Some of President Obama's concerns include the "gun show loophole," which allows gun purchasers to evade federal background checks when buying firearms from flea markets, collectors events, and even online. He said the actions will potentially save lives, although violence is not entirely preventable. He remarked:
We have to be very clear that this is not going to solve every violent crime in this country, it's not going to prevent every mass shooting, it's not going to keep every gun out of the hands of a criminal.
His planned actions would stay consistent with the Second Amendment and people's lawful right to bear arms, though Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan call these executive actions "a dangerous level of executive overreach." Some Republican presidential candidates already plan to repeal his actions if they are elected to office. However, President Obama explains:
We've been very careful recognizing that although we have a strong tradition of gun ownership in this country that even those who possess firearms for hunting, for self protection and for other legitimate reasons want to make sure that the wrong people don't have them for the wrong reasons.
One major tenet of the president's executive order, which is under consideration, would make legal the distinction between gun collectors and gun sellers. In this case, any person selling a certain number of firearms annually would no longer qualify as a collector, but become a registered seller. Their buyers would then become subject to background checks, unlike currently, where sales from a gun collection are often exempted from such requirements.
On Jan. 7, the president plans to hold a nationally televised town hall on gun violence, which will be hosted by Anderson Cooper and lead up to his State of the Union address on Jan. 12. In addition to that, he has arrangements to meet members of the House Gun Violence Protection Task Force, a group whose vice chairs consist of Democrats.
We know we can't stop every act of violence. But what if we tried to stop even one? What if Congress did something — anything — to protect our kids from gun violence?