Today President Obama unveiled his highly anticipated recommendations to prevent further gun violence in America. The recommendations stem from Vice President Joe Biden's task force on gun violence, which was formed in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings that killed 26 people, including 20 children. President Obama began his remarks by reflecting on the costs of gun violence, and promised to use “whatever weight this office holds” to make the recommendations a reality. President Obama stressed that while “no law or set of laws” will prevent every tragedy, the country has an obligation to try everything it can to prevent more deaths. The following is summary of the president’s proposals can be read below. A full copy of the 23 recommendations, via the Washington Post, can be read here.
- At the end of his remarks, President Obama said he would sign a “directive giving law enforcement, schools, mental health professional, and the public health community some of tools they need to reduce gun violence.”
- The president proposed strengthening the background check system to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Later the President said would push for universal background checks for all gun purchases, whether from a licensed dealer or private seller.
- President Obama called for Congress to restore the ban on “military assault weapons and a ten-round limit for magazines.” The President said that “weapons designed for the theater of war have no business in a movie theater.” Obama stressed that President Reagan supported this law as well.
- The president said he would help schools hire more resource officers, if they want them, and to develop emergency plans for shootings.
- The president stated that he would make sure that mental health professionals know their options in reporting threats.
- Obama announced that he would direct the Centers for Disease Control to study the causes of gun violence.
- The president called for Congress to finance research on the effects of violent video games on young minds.
President Obama then said the road to passing these reforms would not be easy, and he expected stiff opposition to changes, including those who compare him to a tyrant. Obama went on to say that change can only happen if people demand it from every part of the country. Obama stressed that “this will not happen if people do not demand it.”