“This time must be different,” President Obama said this morning as he called on Americans to challenge their legislators to “do the right thing” on the gun control proposals he set forth.
Calling for a ban on military style assault weapons and ammo magazines larger than 10 rounds he said, “This will not happen unless the American people demand it.” On the stage with him were four children who had written him of their feelings against gun violence.
Speaking to an audience that included family members of those killed a month ago in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the president acknowledged the difficulties of pursuing stricter legislation on gun laws, but argued that he would use “whatever weight his office holds to achieve his goals.”
To back this up he signed 23 executive orders immediately after the speech strengthening gun background checks, ordering the Center for Disease Control to undertake a study on the causes of gun violence, aggressively prosecuting gun crime, tracing seized guns to assure they don't fall into the hands of dangerous gun owners, making sure schools and other institutions are equipped and prepared for possible shootings and improving mental health resources and discourse including ensuring that health insurance plans cover mental health benefits.
The president pledged his support of the second amendment saying his proposals in no way violate it, and asked gun owners to stand up for common sense.
Among the measures he called on Congress to pass are: universal background checks; restore ban on assault rifles and banning large ammo magazines; tougher laws on gun traffickers; more cops on streets, and appointing Todd Jones to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, a position that's been open for seven years.
In a heartfelt plea to Americans Obama urged them to be responsible and take action by letting their Congressmen know what they want done on gun law reform.
He said this is a matter of a basic human right, the right to life, a right that was taken away from 20 first-graders on that awful day at Sandy Hook School. In just one month, he said, since that tragedy 900 Americans have died at the hands of a gun. Many of these were suicides.
New York state upstaged the president by passing the strongest gun laws in the country including a seven bullet limit on ammo cartridges.