Obama unveils gun plan, concedes tough fight ahead

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 1:06 PM
Last updated 7:40 PM
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WASHINGTON — Conceding “this will be difficult,” President Obama urged a reluctant Congress on Wednesday to require background checks for all gun sales and ban both military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines in an emotion-laden plea to curb gun violence in America.

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President Obama hugs Grant Fritz, 8, during a news conference on proposals to reduce gun violence. "It's a free country but I recommend there needs (to) be a limit with guns," Grant said in a Dec. 17 letter to the president. "Please don't let people own machine guns or other powerful guns like that."  SUSAN WALSH/ASSOCIATED PRESS
SUSAN WALSH/ASSOCIATED PRESS
President Obama hugs Grant Fritz, 8, during a news conference on proposals to reduce gun violence. "It's a free country but I recommend there needs (to) be a limit with guns," Grant said in a Dec. 17 letter to the president. "Please don't let people own machine guns or other powerful guns like that."


The president’s sweeping, $500 million plan, coming one month after the school massacre in Connecticut, marks the most comprehensive effort to tighten gun laws in nearly two decades. But his proposals, most of which are opposed by the National Rifle Association, face a doubtful future in a divided Congress where Republicans control the House.

Seeking to circumvent at least some opposition, Obama signed 23 executive actions Wednesday, including orders to make more federal data available for background checks and end a freeze on government research on gun violence. But he acknowledged that the steps he took on his own would have less impact than the broad measures requiring approval from Capitol Hill.

“To make a real and lasting difference, Congress, too, must act,” Obama said, speaking at a White House ceremony with school children and their parents. “And Congress must act soon.”

The president’s announcements capped a swift and wide-ranging effort, led by Vice President Joe Biden, to respond to the deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. But Obama’s gun control proposals set him up for a tough political fight with Congress as he starts his second term, when he’ll need Republican support to meet three looming fiscal deadlines and pass comprehensive immigration reform.

“I will put everything I’ve got into this, and so will Joe,” the president said. “But I tell you, the only way we can change is if the American people demand it.”

Key congressional leaders were tepid in their response to the White House proposals.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s office signaled no urgency to act, with spokesman Michael Steel saying only that “House committees of jurisdiction will review these recommendations. And if the Senate passes a bill, we will also take a look at that.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he was committed to ensuring that the Senate will consider gun violence legislation “early this year.” But he did not endorse any of Obama’s specific proposals.

The president vowed to use “whatever weight this office holds” to fight for his recommendations. He’s likely to travel around the country in the coming weeks to rally public support and could engage his still-active presidential campaign operation in the effort. But he’ll have to overcome a well-financed counter-effort by the NRA.

“This will be difficult,” Obama said. “There will be pundits and politicians and special-interest lobbyists publicly warning of a tyrannical, all-out assault on liberty – not because that’s true, but because they want to gin up fear or higher ratings or revenue for themselves.”

The president, speaking in front of an audience that included families of some of those killed in Newtown, said 900 Americans had lost their lives to gun violence in the four weeks since the school shootings.

“We can’t put this off any longer,” Obama said. “Every day we wait, the number will keep growing.”

Many Democrats say an assault weapons ban faces the toughest road in Congress. Obama wants lawmakers to reinstate the expired 1994 ban on the high-grade weapons, and strengthen the measure to prevent manufacturers from circumventing the prohibition by making cosmetic changes to banned guns.

The president is also likely to face opposition to his call for Congress to limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.

But Democrats are hopeful they can build consensus around the president’s call for universal background checks. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says 40 percent of gun sales are conducted with no criminal background checks, such as in some instances at gun shows or by private sellers over the Internet or through classified ads.

The NRA is opposed to all three measures. In a statement Wednesday, the gun lobby said, “Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected” by Obama’s efforts and the nation’s children “will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy.”

And on the eve of Obama’s announcement, the NRA released an online video accusing him of being an “elitist hypocrite” for sending his daughters to school with armed Secret Service agents while opposing having guards with guns at all U.S. schools.

White House spokesman Jay Carney called the video “repugnant and cowardly.”

The president’s proposals did include a $150 million request to Congress that would allow schools to hire 1,000 new police officers, counselors and psychologists. The White House plan also includes legislative and executive action to increase mental health services, including boosting funding for training aimed at getting young people into treatment more quickly.

A lopsided 84 percent of Americans back broader background checks, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. Nearly six in 10 Americans want stricter gun laws, the same poll showed, with majorities favoring a nationwide ban on military-style weapons and limits on gun violence depicted in video games, movies and TV shows.

The NRA and pro-gun lawmakers have long suggested that violent images in video games and entertainment are more to blame for mass shootings than the availability of guns. But Obama’s proposals do little to address that concern, other than calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research links between violent images and gun attacks.

Government scientists have been prohibited from researching the causes and prevention of gun violence since 1996, when a budget amendment was passed that barred researchers from spending taxpayer money on such studies.

The administration is calling on Congress to provide $10 million for expanded research.

Obama also wants lawmakers to ban armor-piercing ammunition, except for use by the military and law enforcement. And he’s asking them to create stiffer penalties for gun trafficking, to provide $14 million to help train police officers and others to respond to shootings, and to approve his nominee to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

One of the president’s executive actions on Wednesday was to nominate B. Todd Jones to head the ATF, which has been without a permanent director since 2006. Jones, currently the U.S. attorney for Minnesota, has served as the bureau’s acting director since 2011.

Other steps Obama took through his presidential powers include:

• Ordering tougher penalties for people who lie on background checks.

• Requiring federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

• Ordering a review of safety standards for gun locks and gun safes.

Comments (27) Add comment
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allhans
24885
Points
allhans 01/16/13 - 01:13 pm
7
0
And everything is going his

And everything is going his way. Sad, but true.
He has the bully pulpit and he will be hard to contain.

Frank I
1204
Points
Frank I 01/16/13 - 01:31 pm
6
0
at a quick glance..

At a quick glance I don't have much issue with the Executive Orders themselves.. they seem to be more of a window dressing to say that he touched on the issue.. I'll have to investigate further at a later time.. in regards to his request of Congress I strongly disagree with the idea of ANY sort of ban..

Little Lamb
49030
Points
Little Lamb 01/16/13 - 01:38 pm
7
0
Pressure

Obama can rant and rail at Congress, but he cannot force the speaker to write legislation or even to bring to a vote bills that others have written. I say that Boehner should just ignore Obama and get down to normal House business.

walrus4ever
354
Points
walrus4ever 01/16/13 - 01:48 pm
7
0
Just curious. What of the

Just curious. What of the "assault weapons" and magazines that are already on the street? Are those owners expected to surrender them to the govt? With no compensation? If so it looks like a whole bunch of otherwise law abiding citizens are destined to become criminals.

KSL
143787
Points
KSL 01/16/13 - 02:28 pm
5
1
Unintendended consequences

What is it they say about unintended consequences? You just can't legislate every aspect of human behavior.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/ny-gun-law-may-discourage-mental-health-...

Fiat_Lux
16422
Points
Fiat_Lux 01/16/13 - 02:34 pm
9
0
The union weenies just thought there would be blood

It Obummer really believes he is going to limit the right of Americans' to own and bear arms to defend themselves from tyrannical government (and also to defend their own homes and families), he is beyond delusional.

It's just getting more bizarre by the day.

grinder48
2054
Points
grinder48 01/16/13 - 02:52 pm
0
0
Other Causes of Violence
Unpublished

Did he address video games and movies laced with violence? With all this diversion, what ever came of the need for jobs?! Violence increases when people can't find work.

rugerguy
216
Points
rugerguy 01/16/13 - 04:14 pm
12
0
At least Mr. Obama, the

At least Mr. Obama, the famous "constitutional scholar", has had the Constitution explained to him. He now acknowledges he has no power to change legislation as Chief Executive, only to enforce what law is there already. His emotional signing of these executive orders and doing a high five with cute kids amounts to only a photo op. A tasteless attempt to absolve himself and his administration from any blame.

We have had two major mass shootings and an American ambassador and his staff murdered on his watch. He is the top man charged with protecting American lives. Where was he to prevent these things? Why is nobody holding HIM accountable? If he won't protect us from maniacs with guns at least allow us to protect ourselves. When the next shooter pops up, the odds are proper law abiding citizens who could stop them will now be unarmed.

dichotomy
37448
Points
dichotomy 01/16/13 - 04:28 pm
9
0
So Obama basically did

So Obama basically did nothing but signed some orders saying that he should do his job and make federal agencies enforce the laws already on the books.

Oh, he did say that he wants to make doctors federal snitches and ask you if you have guns and are you mad at anyone. Hopefully the all of the "watchdog" and civil liberties folks will sue and have that struck down. I have no problem with a doctor reporting an obvious nutcase but I don't think a doctor should be required to ask grandma if she has a gun so he can check off a federal requirement. And I'm sure there are some doctors out there would report anyone who answered "yes, I do have a gun" as a nutcase.

Hopefully his proposals on banning assault weapons and magazines will not pass in the House. At least he has some people around him that were smart enough to know he could not do those things by executive order. Most of his 23 executive orders are meaningless. This was a photo op and publicity stunt.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 01/16/13 - 04:35 pm
7
0
Obama has unveiled a sweeping gun proposal

But America reads history and saw him coming years ago, and bought out the stores.

Now what Heir Obama?

BTW: Properly stored Ammo easily keeps for 75 years.

Riverman1
93637
Points
Riverman1 01/16/13 - 04:34 pm
8
0
Problems with Enforcement

So if a doctor treats anyone for nervousness, anxiety, depression, sadness or any other emotional problem, the doctor has to notify the ATF or whomever? Then the police come take the weapon away?

In the military, servicemembers are encouraged to seek treatment for any type of emotional problem. If that treatment resulted in them not being able to be around weapons, their careers would be over. The ramifications of this policy are not being considered.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 01/16/13 - 05:08 pm
9
0
Darn Austin came up with a great argument.

If Voter ID requirements are racist and would keep the minorities from voting according to the ACLU, socialist, liberals and democrats & etc...

Surely requiring ID's to purchase a Home Defense Items would have to be racist also?

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 01/16/13 - 05:49 pm
5
0
That Stubborn Look...

I have never trusted people that clinch their lips or jaws! OOp, looks as if both our guys are doing it in the above picture!

Sweet son
11632
Points
Sweet son 01/16/13 - 06:20 pm
4
0
As the saying goes!

The government will have to "pry our weapons from our cold dead fingers!" Obama and Little Joe can't do diddly!

itsanotherday1
48306
Points
itsanotherday1 01/16/13 - 06:42 pm
8
0
The solution is easy

Unionize all of the gun and ammo manufacturers. Obama and the left would then sit down an shut up to protect the union.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 01/16/13 - 08:34 pm
4
0
Anyone else concerned that the DOJ / ATF well be hunting for a

Poster Child to further Heir Obama's agenda?

Gage Creed
19399
Points
Gage Creed 01/16/13 - 08:30 pm
4
0
Anyone else notice how much

Anyone else notice how much Joe Biden favors Jeff Dunham's puppet Walter? The resemblance is uncanny! Come to think of it...I haven't seem Obama's right arm when Joe Biden is near Mr. Obama.

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 01/16/13 - 08:42 pm
2
4
When will they get it?
Unpublished

A comprehensive approach that includes recommendations and input provided by both sides of the political spectrum - demonized by the far right. What else is new. Keep chargin' guys - and lose the House by 2016.

Gage Creed
19399
Points
Gage Creed 01/16/13 - 08:42 pm
3
1
And lose the country by

And lose the country by 2017....there will not be anyone left to pay the bills....

CobaltGeorge
175757
Points
CobaltGeorge 01/16/13 - 09:12 pm
2
1
1000%

I'M 1000% in support of a background check on all who own or purchase any type of weapon and that "INCLUDES" a background check going back to their school times period.

This issue on how many rounds a magazine can hold is completely asinine. Instead of one 30 round magazine, 3 - 10 round magazines does the same.

I will become a very dead or law breaking citizen if anybody tries to take any of my semi's away. Semi's include all pistols with the exception of single action ones.

fedex227.."Keep chargin' guys - and lose the House by 2016."

If they quit chargin' they sure as all heck will lose the House in 2016!

dichotomy
37448
Points
dichotomy 01/16/13 - 10:04 pm
4
0
"that includes

"that includes recommendations and input provided by both sides of the political spectrum"

We always will condemn any action to ban weapons and magazines. Don't even insinuate that gun owners had any input in this attempted fascist dictate. Of course we will demonize the violation of our constitutional rights. As for the rest of the stuff, the NRA has been recommending most of that for 30 years or more but the left wing guys just couldn't get past the banning approach. And apparently still can't. Glad the ban stuff has to be approved by the congress.

rational thought trumps emotion
2682
Points
rational thought trumps emotion 01/16/13 - 11:09 pm
5
1
Background Checks - OK

I agree with the background checks. Everything else is a joke - look at the punishment now for repeated convicted felons in possession of firearms. Why add more laws when we can't / don't effectively enforce the ones we have now. The new laws being proposed will only negatively effect law abiding productive members of society.

Little Lamb
49030
Points
Little Lamb 01/17/13 - 07:57 am
2
0
Invasion of Privacy and Ineffective

From the story:

WASHINGTON — Conceding “this will be difficult,” President Obama urged a reluctant Congress on Wednesday to require background checks for all gun sales and ban both military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines in an emotion-laden plea to curb gun violence in America.

1. Require background checks for all gun sales — At this time background checks are required for sales between gun dealer and customer. It is not a requirement for an individual selling a gun to another individual to do a background check. In fact, it is illegal. The information accessed in a background check is personal. It could be dangerous if it fell into the wrong hands. Basically, if you require background checks on sales between individuals, you are opening up massive federal and state databases to individuals — and since they are now talking "universal" background checks, we are now talking about medical records becoming accessible to individuals. I don't think too many Americans would be comfortable with this if they thought it through.

No, don't expect the drive-by media to tell you about it, but what Biden and Obama and Feinstein want with this "universal background check" is the outright ban on individual-to-individual sale. Now, that’s unconstitutional.

2. Ban both military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines — I seem to remember we had a ban on military-style assault weapons in place when the Columbine High School massacre took place. The ban was not effective then, and it won't be effective now. The solution lies in dealing with unlawful shooters, not with the weapons or the ammo!

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 01/17/13 - 09:39 am
2
0
Worth a look and a thought

When trying to appeal to logic use facts.
When trying to avoid logic and facts use children.
The harder the sell, the more children used as distractions to help sell it.

http://www.infowars.com/other-tyrants-who-have-used-children-as-props/

Little Lamb
49030
Points
Little Lamb 01/17/13 - 10:50 am
1
0
2014

Fedex227, speaking of the 'far right,' posted:

Keep chargin' guys - and lose the House by 2016.

The Republican Party (of which I am not a member) might have a chance to gain control of the Senate in 2014; but they've got to select candidates who don't mouth off about "legitimate rape" and other social agenda issues. It's the economy and the Constitution, stupid!

Fiat_Lux
16422
Points
Fiat_Lux 01/17/13 - 12:06 pm
3
0
Re: doctors asking about gun ownership

Let 'em ask. I'll tell them, "No, I don't own any guns," whether it's true or not. And I'll find a different doctor who thinks like an American.

All this garbage, yet they aren't allowed to ask a Latino or Hispanic person if they are in the United States legally. Do they really believe we will simply put up with this BS intrusive nonsense?

Obuttinsky and his minions have long wanted to have the act of disobeying a (government-controlled) doctor become a criminal offense. They already mandate that parents who don't comply with what a physician thinks best for a child must be reported to agencies like Georgia DFCS for investigation.

You just think your children are yours. Just tell a doctor you don't want him/her to receive some treatment that is controversial, experimental or merely unlikely to help much anyway and see what happens. You'd better hope the loons don't have the final say, and there are lots of loons among MDs these days. Liberal, arrogant, elitist loons.

Little Lamb
49030
Points
Little Lamb 01/17/13 - 04:42 pm
2
0
Bad Proposals

From the story:

Obama also wants lawmakers to ban armor-piercing ammunition, except for use by the military and law enforcement. And he’s asking them to create stiffer penalties for gun trafficking, to provide $14 million to help train police officers and others to respond to shootings. . . .

Okay, let's look at these:

1. Ban armor-piercing ammunition except for use by military and law enforcement— If we accept the argument that one reason for the 2nd amendment was for citizens to form militias in order to repel and attempt to defeat a federal or state government that has "gone rogue" and become despotic toward its citizens, then the common citizen would need armor-piercing ammunition. Hence, banning it from citizens would infringe on our 2nd amendment rights.

2. Create stiffer penalties for gun trafficking— First off, what is the definition of "gun trafficking"? Is it the street name for illegal gun sales? what makes such sales illegal? Are the penalties today so namby-pamby that people are being let off of trafficking charges with just a slap on the wrist? Is this proposed solution by Joe Biden's committee just a feel-good recommendation, devoid of any substance? (P.S. – was the Obama administration's attempt to sell guns to Mexican drug cartels drug trafficking or not?)

3. Provide $14 million to help train police officers and others to respond to shootings— Has anyone criticised how the police responded to the Sandy Hook shootings? How about the Virginia Tech shootings? Why $14 million; why not make it $140 million? Why not a billion? It's just other peoples’ money for something that will not stop shootings by mentally ill people in the first place.

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 01/17/13 - 10:30 pm
1
0
President Osama Rules
Unpublished

Read the new commandments from our Commandant Osama. Note how he has already linked Obama Care in with guns and health with taxes. The elite will not stop till they control every aspect of your life.

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