President Obama made public remarks Tuesday on the need to curb America’s epidemic of gun violence.
“Our right to peaceful assembly — that right was robbed from moviegoers in Aurora, high schoolers in Columbine and from first graders in Newtown. First graders. And from every family who’d never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun.
Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.”
“We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence. We maybe can’t save everybody, but we can save some.”
“How did we get here? Each time this comes up, we are fed the excuse that common sense reforms might not have stopped the latest massacre or the one before that, so why bother trying.”
The President commented on his forthcoming executive actions:
“These are not only recommendations that are well within my legal authority and the executive branch, but they’re also ones that the overwhelming majority of the American people, including gun owners, support me doing.”
The new executive actions, in brief:
Background Checks: Require all gun sellers — including online and at gun shows — to have a license and perform background checks, and overhaul the existing background check system.
Enforcement: Improve enforcement of existing federal gun laws, and add 200 new ATF agents.
Mental Health: Remove barriers that can keep states from reporting and sharing information about people barred from owning guns for mental health reasons, and spend $500 million to increase access to mental health care.
Technology: Research in gun safety technology by the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security.
Image (“Old Glory”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
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