Obama’s Executive Order on Gun Control Will Have Positive Impact

Anand Balaji, Staff Writer

President Obama’s executive orders on gun control, announced Jan. 5, represent his administration’s only substantial action on combatting the United States’ epidemic of gun violence. With a comprehensive assault weapons ban rejected by the Senate in 2013 and Republicans currently controlling both houses of Congress, these executive orders will likely be the only gun control reforms we can expect in the immediate future. While skeptics have taken issue with the watered-down actions proposed by the president, the measures will have a substantial effect on reducing gun accessibility for dangerous individuals. The significant expansion of background checks, increased mental health reporting and strengthening of law enforcement capabilities are all promising steps towards a safer United States.

The first important part of President Obama’s actions includes serious changes to the background checks system, closing loopholes that allow purchases made at gun shows or through corporate entities to skirt background check requirements. The president has also pledged to substantially increase personnel to help modernize the database to both process checks 24/7 and inform local law enforcement when prohibited individuals attempt to purchase a firearm. By closing the glaring loopholes in our nation’s background check system, the White House will help to ensure that dangerous individuals have a much more difficult time acquiring firearms.

The second significant section of the executive actions directly focuses on combatting gun violence by improving standards of mental health care and ensuring that those suffering from serious mental health issues do not have access to firearms. A tactic favored by the NRA in response to mass shootings is attributing the problem to mental illness rather than the need for stronger gun control. These actions specifically address that criticism by pledging a $500 million investment in mental health treatment and updates for the background check system that include information about the mental health of potential gun buyers. Choosing to address the issue of mental illness is an important preventative step in keeping firearms away from those who would do others harm. President Obama has also called for a substantial increase in staff at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to help ensure proper enforcement of his executive actions.
America’s problem with gun violence is still rampant, with 51 mass shootings since 1997 and more than 33,000 gun-related deaths per year. A complete solution to this epidemic will likely require more comprehensive and controversial laws than President Obama proposed at the beginning of this month. However, these executive actions will have a significant and positive effect on public safety and at least make it harder for criminals and the mentally unstable to purchase firearms. These proposals, while not totally satisfactory or sufficient, are still a very strong step in the right direction.

 

Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.

Email Anand Balaji at [email protected]

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Except that the money for all these changes you mention has to come from Congress, who are very unlikely to appropriate money for these things, not the least reason because Obama’s executive actions are being challenged in court and will probably not be enacted before he leaves office.

  2. Oh-blame-uh Obama is an idiot in this regard, as are MOST people who tote the banner of “gun control”. NOT ‘gun control’, but “Criminal Control”. Lets make them, the ‘criminals’ that “shouldn’t have guns”. Mental Health patients w/ suicidal tendencies is one… let’s find a way to ‘brand’ them, using ‘ankle monitors’? Tattoo’s? Both permanent and NOT so permanent for ‘returning vet’s’ with depression for instance, to protect the vet and his family and co-workers.

    Legal citizens, should have NO barrier to obtain a weapon equal to that of ‘law enforcement’!

    I don’t trust OUR police forces. Not one. ANYONE with a gun, has the ability to abuse the right. But, everyone should have the right, to fight back with ‘equal’ force when threatened.

    Our Police, should NOT shoot first and ask questions later. Putting their lives on the line, means treating innocent till proven guilty citizens, as “innocent”, NOT guilty criminals, with guns drawn, lights and public announcement (PA) speakers blaring, at each and every traffic stop.

    Scare tactics, have become the ‘norm’ by OUR police, for ‘traffic stops’. Trespass. Children in the park. Everybody walking the streets at night has the ‘legal’ right to do so, w/o questioning or to be detained/ restrained/ searched, “just CUZ” instead of “Just Cause”. “uh, I feared for the life of myself and fellow officers” as the ‘innocent’ till proven guilty victim is shot 50+ times, for getting out his key to the door?

    Oh, and this ‘crap’ about ‘running from a cop, being ‘reasonable’ to shoot, is BULL-GUANO! Fast as fast can be, you’ll never catch me, is typical of ‘guilt’, but NOT authorization to ‘kill’ cause he stole a bike, or candy bar, or pack of cigarettes or even bought a bag of weed.

    How many people, where ‘shot’ for drinking illegally in the prohibition on liquor days? Look, that guys drunk as a skunk! Stop, in the name of the law! He’s running (stumbling actually)! Stop or I’ll shoot! BANG! Dead for ‘being drunk’?
    Imagine the press if that were to happen back then! The policemen would have been convicted of cold blooded murder!

    We’re quickly forgetting ‘why’ the 2nd amendment was created. Because of Tyranny by their own government, hence the declaration of independence and bill of rights and this country were born.

    Soon, if people like the ‘anti-legal gun ownership’ proponents will have us living in or under the same governmental control our forefathers left behind when they came to this land and formed this Republic, not a ‘Democracy’!

    Legal people shouldn’t face gun control laws. They have proven they obey the law and are NOT criminals. Criminals have proven they don’t abide by law. Right laws against ‘criminals’ NOT rule the innocent.

    Tyranny is defined as, Tyranny | Definition of Tyranny by Merriam-Webster

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tyranny
    Video embedded · 1: oppressive power ; especially: oppressive power exerted by government <the tyranny

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