President Obama Gets Emotional in Unveiling Gun Measures

Obama's New Gun Measures Unveiled
Rex Shutterstock

President Barack Obama unveiled a series of executive actions on gun violence, which he deemed necessary given the lack of action from Congress, even in the face of popular support for such measures as expanding background checks for gun purchases.

“Maybe we can’t save everybody, but we can save some,” Obama said in a speech in the East Room of the White House, where he was joined by survivors and families of the victims of gun violence.

Obama wiped away tears as he recalled the children killed in the 2012 Newtown, Conn., shooting rampage. He noted that tragedy didn’t translate into congressional action, even for measures that enjoy lopsided support among the American public. Legislation to expand background checks was blocked in 2013.

“The gun lobby may be able to hold Congress hostage right now, but they cannot hold America hostage,” he said.

A central feature of his actions are steps to expand the definition of who is a gun dealer, as those in the business of selling guns are currently required to perform background checks before making a sale. A big push among groups like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has been to close loopholes on sales of guns on the Internet and at gun shows. Although the executive action would not fall short of preventing all sales of guns without background checks, Obama said that it would expand the number of people and entities who will fall under existing law. He also unveiled measures to improve the background check system.

He also talked of the need to boost research on gun violence and gun safety, and to boost funding for mental health.

His speech was met with criticism from House Speaker Paul Ryan, and some GOP candidates already have accused Obama of trying to limit access to guns by law-abiding gun owners.

“From day one, the president has never respected the right to safe and legal gun ownership that our nation has valued since its founding,” Ryan said in a statement.

But Obama said that his moves are “not a plot to take away” guns and that background checks are not “some slippery slope to gun confiscation.” He didn’t mention Donald Trump by name, but his reference was to some of his rhetoric.

Instead, Obama compared his actions to efforts to boost safety in cars and even toys.

“We know that there are some constraints on our freedom in order to protect innocent people,” he said.

Some of his proposals — like a $500 million investment in mental health services and budget items for 200 new ATF agents — still require congressional support.

When it comes to background checks, his executive action hinges on just what qualifies as being in the business of selling firearms, as many who seek sales online or at gun shows claim to be hobbyists. In fact, Obama’s speech was aimed at keeping up a sense of urgency on the issue, even if congressional action to further expand background checks is doubtful in the near future.

Obama will participate on Thursday in a town hall on gun violence.

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  1. Tom says:

    “that tragedy didn’t translate into congressional action, even for measures that enjoy lopsided support among the American public”

    Murdered schoolchildren mean nothing to the NRA.

  2. Jack Monte says:

    He went to visit San Bernardino weeks after the shooting for 2 hours under cover of darkness. A stop on his way to vacation in Hawaii. If he cared so much he would have been there right away like any other tragedy. None of these laws would have stopped that shooting. Mental illness comes in many forms and we need to pay more attention to it.

  3. Chan says:

    We need thug control. 70% of violent crime committed by less than 6% of the demographic.

  4. Dawn says:

    I’m no fan of guns but the problem isn’t the law abiding citizens. It’s the criminals who will get guns illegally. I used to live near a guy who sold guns illegally along with pornography, prostitution and various other items. The reality is that the gang members come from families usually lacking in morals and often single welfare moms. This needs to be addressed before you can deal with gun violence.

    • smith says:

      Chicago, NYC, states, cities can have all the gun control it wants, it doesn’t do much when there is not a gun control coming from the federal level across all states. I didn’t realize Chicago is in a fortress where nobody can leave or enter the city anymore. There is a thing called the interstate highway system and other states with very lax gun laws.

      Just a few months ago the police broke up a massive gun smuggling ring from the south coming to NYC. With Chicago the guns are coming from Indiana.

      • Dawn says:

        You are very misinformed. Criminals will always get guns, that is why law abiding citizens have every right to get guns so they can protect themselves.

    • smith says:

      How do you think criminals get guns to begin with???? By very lax gun laws. In a lot of these mass shootings the person was a “law abiding citizen” with no criminal history.

      • cadavra says:

        Dawn: Statistics have proven that 75-80% of the crimes committed in “gun-free” cities and states used guns purchased in states with lax or zero gun laws and then brought into the city/state. Indeed, a majority of crimes are committed with guns stolen from “law-abiding citizens.” Just the other day a man in Texas was walking around with his brand-new holstered gun and had it stolen at gunpoint. That gun will undoubtedly be used to commit a crime elsewhere. More Americans are killed by guns every 12 hours than have been killed by foreign terrorists since the day after 9/11. When does it stop? When we finally do something about it.

      • Dawn says:

        Wrong answer. In areas with strict gun laws they have a problem with violence. Look at Chicago and they have a strict gun laws yet thugs get guns. With strict laws you only penalize the law abiding citizens. The answer is to enforce things like sterilization for welfare leeches.

  5. kate says:

    What a bunch of crap! First, he’s overstepping his rights to put these regulations in place. Second, these regulations do NOTHING to stop one criminal from getting a gun. Taking guns away from law abiding citizens only make them sitting ducks for criminal to pick them off. How stupid is he? He’s not. He’s trying to disarm the US citizens to control them. The first thing Hitler did to control the masses was give them “free” healthcare, then he took away their guns…then 6 Million of them were killed. Wake up sheeple!!!!

    • smokegurl14 says:

      He’s not taking away guns…he’s asking for background checks in hopes of not selling to a criminal or someone who is mentally disturbed. Pretty harmless. If you have nothing to hide why do you care if there is a background check? It’s been done for years, just not at gun shows. Why they were exempt I don’t know but I like this new idea.

  6. Truth Teller says:

    Obama is now officially the biggest phony, puppet, a-hole of all time.

    The U.S. Constitution is everything to the people, and we the people will not let him keep raping it.

  7. nik says:

    Please hire a proof-reader before posting your articles. The number of typos and grammatical errors make me doubt your overall accuracy. I understand your need to disseminate news in a timely manner, but this is simply unprofessional.

  8. taffy says:

    How exactly will any of these new regulations prevent a criminal from buying a gun illegally on just about any street corner or schoolyard? It won’t. FACT.

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