REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – In front of families and relatives of victims of gun violence, President Barack Obama addressed America this morning with one mission in mind: To save lives.
In an emotional speech, President Obama unveiled executive measures to tighten gun control. He wept when he remembered the massacres of innocents during his term, especially the kids who were killed by a gunman with an assault rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012.
“Our unalienable right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, those rights were stripped from college kids in Blacksburg, and Santa Barbara and from high schoolers in Columbine and from first-graders in Newtown. First-graders. And from every family who 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,” he expressed.
President Obama’s new rules mandate for gun sellers who operate at gun shows and on the internet to be licensed and have them subjected to criminal prosecution that can include up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if they are not. It also requires gun dealers to be responsible for reporting guns that go missing. Obama’s initiative also calls for the FBI to hire hundreds of examiners to help the agency do the increased background checks. It also includes the investment of $500 million in mental health care and researching smart gun technology.
President Obama called his proposals common-sense safety measures. He said, “Contrary to the claims of some presidential candidates apparently before this meeting, this is not a plot to take away everybody’s guns. You pass a background check, you purchase a firearm.”
But critics said President Obama wants to make buying guns nearly impossible. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pointed out, “We’ll pretty soon you won’t be able to get guns, it’s just another step in the way of not getting guns.”
Another Republican presidential candidate, Jeb Bush, believes President Obama’s executive order won’t help. He reasoned, “If there’s an issue related to federal gun laws then he ought to go to congress and try and forge consensus to make it happen. He doesn’t have this power.”
Bush also released his new campaign video online, defending the Second Amendment. In it, he said, “I will fight as hard as I can against any effort by this president or by any liberal that wants to take away people’s rights that are embedded in the Bill of Rights.”
But President Obama insisted he believes in the Second Amendment and pointed out that requiring a comprehensive background check does not mean taking away people’s guns.
Republicans have already vowed to fight President Obama’s executive order, but for now, it’s not clear how they’re going to do it. The next president, though, could repeal it.
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