President Obama Signs Executive Orders on Gun Control
In an impassioned press conference Wednesday morning, President Obama announced a sweeping plan for gun control, including measures for universal background checks for firearms purchases, limiting sales of high capacity magazines, funding for more police, school counselors and mental health programs.
After mentioning seven-year-old Grace McDonnell, one of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and with a group of children standing behind him, the president sat down to sign the 23 Executive Orders, which don’t require the approval of Congress to take effect.
The president who stood behind the podium this morning seemed determined to dispel the notion that his administration was not doing enough to halt the gun violence which has swept across the country. In addition to Sandy Hook, he mentioned the Colorado movie theater, Wisconsin Sikh Temple, Virginia Tech and Columbine, noting that in the month since the mass shooting at the Connecticut elementary school, 900 Americans have died at the end of a gun.
Some of the President Obama’s notable quotes:
“Weapons designed for theaters of war have no place in movie theaters.”
“Let me be absolutely clear: like most Americans, I believe the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms."
“There will be pundits, politicians, special interest lobbyists warning of a tyrannical, all-out assault on liberty."
Highlights of the speech direct from the White House Twitter feed:
President Obama: "We will help schools hire more resource officers if they want them, and develop emergency preparedness plans."— White House Live (@WHLive) January 16, 2013
President Obama: "First: it’s time for Congress to require a universal background check for anyone trying to buy a gun."— White House Live (@WHLive) January 16, 2013
President Obama: "As many as 40% of all gun purchases are conducted without a background check. That’s not safe, it’s not smart."— White House Live (@WHLive) January 16, 2013
President Obama: "An overwhelming majority of Americans agree with me on the need for universal background checks, incl 70% of NRA members"— White House Live (@WHLive) January 16, 2013
President Obama: "Second: Congress should restore a ban on military-style assault weapons, and a 10-round limit for magazines."— White House Live (@WHLive) January 16, 2013
Can gun control gain bipartisan support?And despite the President’s attempt to show gun control as a bipartisan issue—pointing out that even GOP hero Ronald Reagan supported banning military style assault weapons—opponents were also out in full force, with Impeach Obama also trending on Twitter.
Impeach Obama and stop his attacks on the constitution. No one who disrespects our country's sacred rights should ever hold this office— That Southern Guy (@LostTexasGent) January 16, 2013
"Mad" doesn't begin to cover how I feel about Obama's 23 executive orders. That is nothing but an abuse of power. #impeachobama— Ann Smajstrla (@ANNtastic9) January 16, 2013
If they don't impeach OBAMA pretty soon we won't have a country.— Margaret Khan (@wakeup1442) January 9, 2013
While supporters in the audience were elated by today’s announcements, the debate over guns is far from over. Further gun control measures, such as the renewal of an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and the prohibition of magazines carrying more than ten rounds of ammunition, will require the support of Congress, including the GOP-dominated House of Representatives.