Obama's Executive Action Will Drastically Prevent Gun Violence
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Politics and Activism

Obama's Executive Action Will Drastically Prevent Gun Violence

The President is right -- we can do better.

Obama's Executive Action Will Drastically Prevent Gun Violence

On Tuesday January 5th, 2016, the first Tuesday of the new year, President Barack Obama addressed the nation on gun violence. This is not a new issue for the US. In the last decade of American history, gun violence caused over 100,000 deaths and countless cases of robberies, assaults, and terrorism have involved guns. The address began with a story of the President’s experience as a Senator when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Tucson, Arizona along with 18 other innocent Americans. He proceeded to name the various other mass shootings in the nation: “Fort Hood. Binghamton. Aurora. Oak Creek. Newtown. The Navy Yard. Santa Barbara. Charleston. San Bernardino. Too many."

The President stood by Congresswoman Giffords since the beginning, from the hospital emergency room to the rehabilitation and therapy. He recounted how painful the whole experience had been for everyone, and how far Congresswoman Giffords has come, how strong she has been, and how inspiring she was in the face of terror.

Obama delivered his address to bring national attention to the problem of gun violence prevention, and to prompt Congress and the states to better ensure the safety and security of our fellow citizens. The Center for Disease Control recorded 279,976 violent gun deaths between 2005 and 2013, with the last year reporting the highest number of gun-related deaths. Included in these deaths are suicides, police-related shootings, and homicides, in addition to those gun deaths caused by terrorism and crime.

Over thirty thousand deaths have been at the hands of guns, and Obama defines the implications of this statistic, stating “Suicides. Domestic violence. Gang shootouts. Accidents. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost brothers and sisters, or buried their own children. Many have had to learn to live with a disability, or learned to live without the love of their life.”

President Obama declares that we can do better, and we must. As the Commander in Chief of one of the most respected and powerful nations in the world, he acknowledges: “The United States of America is not the only country on Earth with violent or dangerous people. We are not inherently more prone to violence. But we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency. It doesn't happen in other advanced countries. It’s not even close. And as I’ve said before, somehow we’ve become numb to it and we start thinking that this is normal.” He proceeds to discuss how gun violence prevention became a partisan debate, especially in Congress as is seen repeatedly with Obamacare.

President Obama does not call for a ban on guns or on firearm sales. Colonists created the Second Amendment to ensure Americans would be armed during the Revolutionary War and gain their independence from their former country, Great Britain.

However, this amendment has not been updated or modernized since its passing, and the US Government now has tens of thousands of Americans dying each year from gun violence, with no mention for how the laws will change. "I believe in the second amendment, that guarantees a right to bear arms," Obama stated in his address. "I believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the second amendment."

As a prior constitutional law professor, President Obama knows "a thing or two" about the law, but conservative America continues to rally against any measures concerning gun safety. Critics of the executive action claim the President is overreaching in his federal authority to regulate the right to bear arms. However, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike agree that requiring background checks ensures that dangerous people cannot acquire lethal weapons as easily. Expanding the number of ATF agents and investigators will further add support for the enforcement of background checks to ensure applications are processed with haste and accuracy.

Another major point of the reforms includes the expansion of mental health services and treatment available to Americans. The fourth core component of reform is for gun safety technology. While a bit more abstract that the other three core components, President Obama compared gun safety technology to phone safety technology, specifically with fingerprint unlocking abilities for phones, and asked “why can’t we do the same thing for our guns?”

Also, adding Global Positioning Services (GPS) or location-based services to guns would allow stolen guns to be found more easily. The President acknowledged that research is needed in this field, and the Executive Office will be working with the private sector to pursue firearms technology. These measures cannot hope to stop all gun violence, but it is a start, and will ensure that Americans can receive the care they need, but also ensure that those with violent tendencies and predispositions cannot purchase firearms.

After President Obama’s Address, Anderson Cooper interviewed the President on CNN in an exclusive town hall, “Guns in America,” and the President responded to critics of his proposed executive actions on gun violence prevention. Numerous critics of the reform including Kimberly Corban, a survivor of rape and mother of two, claims that such restrictions imposed by the President will make it harder for her to own a gun or have access to keep her kids safe.

Paul Babeu, Sheriff in Arizona and candidate for Congress, also asked how the US will get criminals and those with mental illness to follow these laws and regulations. President Obama responded to the criticism by acknowledging that “crime is always going to be with us” but he continued to state that “if we can’t solve every crime, [that doesn’t mean] we shouldn’t try to stop any crimes.”

In the President's Address, he used Missouri as an example of how repealing background check measures has led to a 50 percent increase in gun related deaths in Missouri compared to the national average. Sensible gun-safety regulation will not "reduce" access to guns for the American people, but rather will be a forward-moving attempt to solve a problem that is affecting our states, communities, health clinics, schools, families, and friends. Such measures reduce the frequency of gun violence catastrophes. President Obama is right -- we can do better.

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