I'm sure like most people on break, you haven't really been keeping up with the news recently. Between the holidays, vacations, and the endless amounts of Netflix binge-watching to catch up on, it's really hard to stay on top of current events. So one major thing you may have missed is Obama announcing some new executive actions in an attempt to limit gun violence in the U.S.
In a speech made Tuesday, January 5, Obama addressed the numerous mass shootings that have happened in recent years and the shootings that occur daily in areas like Chicago, where the President is originally from. When speaking about the shooting that occurred in Sandy Hook in 2012, Obama was teary eyed expressing how upset he gets whenever he thinks of those children.
The actions taken by the President are in hopes of making guns less accessible to the general public.The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will now require that any outlet of gun sales, be it the internet, a store, or a gun show, must be licensed and preform a background check before a sale is made. Another action being taken is that now even small scale gun sales must be legally documented, a precaution that wasn't taken before. His goal is not to take guns away from everybody, but to simply "childproof" the process of attaining one, like the cap of an Aspirin bottle.
It comes as no surprise that the National Rifle Association fought back. Releasing a statement on Tuesday, stating that "President Obama has chosen to engage in political rhetoric, instead of offering meaningful solutions to our nation's pressing problems."
They go on to say that they will not stand back and allow Obama to propose such actions that won't keep the community any safer. The argument is based around the idea that the new actions that are to be implemented would not have changed any of the horrific events leading up to this proposal.
Fox News host, Bill O'Reilly, responded to the NRA on his broadcast Tuesday night, saying that background checks were a reasonable application to the process of obtaining a firearm. He does not believe that this is an infringement of the people's rights and that it just makes sense that it is a part of the process. O'Reilly also pointed out that even though it is a good idea, these background checks won't miraculously end gun violence in America. These people who have it in their mind to carry out a mass shooting will find a way around the laws, be it a Black Market or a clean previous record.
Unfortunately, the end of gun violence in America isn't something that will happen overnight. The issue of gun control should not be a political standpoint. When acts of terror are occurring all over the world, I find it hard to believe that people can sit in front of their TV and not think that actions need to be taken.
Obviously, there is more to the solution than just gun control, but by preventing the public from obtaining dangerous weapons, we can surely limit the number of innocent people who lose their lives in mass shootings. We live in a world now where tragedies are occurring every day: the attacks on innocent civilians in Israel every day, European cities going on terror lockdown, and mass shootings occurring at schools, malls, movie theaters all over the U.S. more often than the media wants us to be aware of.
We may not be able to end the violence entirely, but I believe that every small step in the right direction will help. If you don't stand behind gun control because of your political beliefs, then just take a moment each day to hope that someone you love isn't the next innocent target of the man or woman who "seemed so normal/nice/innocent" and was able to obtain a dangerous weapon.