January 17, 2013
By Eric Lee
LAWT Contributing Writer
On Wednesday President Barack Obama took to the podium in Washington to propose legislative actions that will take a comprehensive approach to tackling gun violence in the United States, including universal background checks, an assaults rifles ban, strengthening punishments on gun trafficking, and a ten round limit on magazine clips.
Though these measures are still to be discussed and debated on the congressional floor, the president implemented 23 executive orders that surpass the need for congress approval, taking place immediately. These orders include ending a ban on gun violence research by federal agencies, reinforcement of the existing background check system, putting more counselors in school, and increasing access to mental health programs.
With the most controversy surrounding gun control law in years, the president’s address was met with mixed reactions. The National Rifle Association (NRA) actually released an advertisement prior to the speech, depicting the executive as a hypocrite for allowing his children to be protected by government agencies while the children of civilians are not. The lobbyist group received immediate backlash from both sides of the political pond, but has yet to retract statements. Other organizations, such as Mayors Against Illegal Guns, praised Obama for his efforts to distain violence in America.
As for now, the majority of American people seem to align with the president on gun control. CNN, Time, and ORC released a combined poll claiming that the American populous stands 80/20, 70/30, and 60/40, on matters of universal background checks, magazine clip round limits, and an assault rifle ban respectively. In fact, the poll showed 55% of Americans to be in favor of new gun laws, while 44 percent are not. Ironically as the government is receiving praise for the valid attempts to hinder the impact of weapons in our nation, the poll shows many Americans to be skeptical of the new law’s productivity. The poll shows that 61 percent of Americans do not believe gun reform will deter violence, while 39 percent believe it will.
After the most recent of events, rather aligning with forces in support or against weapons, all sides agree that something needs to be done to make our country safer. It seems as if the issue of gun control will be a major factor in the president’s second term, with the possibility to make or break Obama’s image in the history books decades from now.