By Zoe Phelps
President Barack Obama is beginning a change in the gun control restrictions and aiming it towards people who sell guns online or rent tables at gun shows and sell guns. After urging Congress to pass laws that would restrict access to guns, and repeatedly asking them to take action, Congress still hasn’t acted. Obama has now taken executive actions with the hopes of reducing gun violence. Given the President’s political position he has the power to propose laws that could potentially benefit Americans well being.
Obama wants more gun sellers to get licenses and more gun buyers to go through background checks. According to Forbes the FBI is maintaining this system in order to make it more effective and efficient. The U.S Bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is issuing a set of rules that will require sellers to check with the FBI to tell them whether their buyers have any criminal records, have been charged with any crimes, or have any mental condition that would restrict them from using a gun. Obama has insisted that his actions are “not a plot to take away everybody’s guns.” He compared his push for gun control to the steps the United States and businesses have taken to limit traffic fatalities, require fingerprints to unlock iPads and keep children from opening bottles of aspirin.
This chart shows people who are in favor of these gun policy proposals. 85% of Americans favor making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks, and 80% support laws to prevent mentally ill people from purchasing guns.67% of Americans favor creating a federal database to track gun sales. A smaller majority of the public 55% favors a ban on assault-style weapons.
A study done by Mother Jones magazine found that 38 out of 61 mass shootings in the past three decades displayed mental health problems prior to the killings. If they had of had a background check when they were buying guns maybe they wouldn’t have been able to get them. But the problem is there are already 200 million privately owned firearms and many other ways such as buying/selling online, or purchasing guns at gun shows that give people the ability to get there hands on guns.
Obama doesn’t expect these laws to change in his remaining time in office but wants to do as much as he can in his remaining term. “ It’s way too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun.” He believes that our right to bear arms needs to be balanced so that people can still comfortably live their lives and feel safe. He has made a lot of statements to offer his condolences to people who have been affected by these mass shootings, and feels that he has had to make this statement to many times to families who have lost someone due to gun violence.
We are one of the only developed countries that has this issue of mass shootings. Americans are twenty times as likely to die from gun violence as citizens of other civilized countries. The U.S is at the top of the list for gun deaths or gun deaths, with a 2010 rate of 3.2 firearm-related deaths per 100,000 population.
This chart shows that the United States has more mass shootings and more people cumulatively killed or injured than the other 10 nations combined.
Over the decade and a half studied, the researchers found 23 incidents of mass shootings in the other 10 countries, resulting in 200 dead and 231 wounded. In the United States over the same period, there were 133 incidents that left 487 dead and 505 wounded.After seeing this data, it’s easy to understand Obama’s first claim, “this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”
Sandy Hook Elementary is located in Newtown Connecticut where 20 students and 6 adults were shot and killed on December 12,2014 by Adam Lanza a 20 year old male who lived in the area. After killing his mother Nancy Lanza who worked at the school as an elementary teacher he grabbed three guns (a .223 caliber “Bushmaster” rifle and two pistols, a Sig Sauer and a Glock.) from his house and went to the school wearing black clothing and a military vest. The school had just installed a new security system that required visitors to be visibly identified and buzzed in, and doors to be locked at 9:30 a.m. The doors were locked when Adam arrived and he proceeded to “shoot his way into the building.”
Beth Israel, who lived on the same street as the Lanzas, recalled Adam Lanza as withdrawn, but not threatening in any way.“Overall, I would just call him a socially awkward kid, I don’t know, shy and quiet. Didn’t really look you in the eye, just kind of a weird kid, maybe. I can’t tell you any specific incidents why I thought so,” she said.
This speaks on Obama’s frustrations because he’s not doing what he wants to do to solve this gun control problem he’s doing what he can. He wants everyone to feel like he’s acknowledging them and their personal concerns. Obama feels that he’s had to make the same statement on numerous occasions to address families who have been victims of gun violence, and that it is in our power to do something about it.
Overall it is obvious that there is a high need for more gun regulation mainly focused around people who buy and sell online or rent tables at gun shows.There has been a cyclical perpetuation of gun violence in America and when compared to other countries we are at the forefront. President Obama has taken executive action with the hopes of reducing gun violence. He wants more gun sellers to get licenses and more gun buyers to go through background checks.Given he only has a limited amount of time left in office he plans on doing all he can in his remaining term with the hopes that whoever takes after him will continue out his actions.