President Obama’s town hall meeting regarding gun violence has stirred up both controversy and conversation among the American public, provoking pro-gun lobbyists and rallying those in favor of gun restrictions.
Democratic Congressman Mike Doyle, representing the 14th district of Pennsylvania, says Obama’s push for gun restrictions by means of executive action was a modest approach in improving the firearms purchasing system.
“Congress has really failed to act in terms of many things that most Americans agree with—background checks, for instance, most Americans agree there should be background checks,” Doyle says.
Doyle admits that although the incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 was a tragedy, he thought it would finally be a gateway to legislation about gun violence and restrictions.
“That’s when it sort of hit a lot of us that this Congress as it’s currently constituted is never going to address these problems.”
Doyle argues restrictions should be made with those firearms that have no civilian use, such as assault rifles and bullets that can pierce body armor. He says common sense should ultimately dictate how the Second Amendment is interpreted.
“I don’t know that anybody is talking about closing off the Second Amendment or restricting American’s rights to purchase a firearm.”
While Doyle recognizes that people will always find ways to circumvent laws, he believes there are ways to minimize this violence.
“Does that mean that we shouldn’t do anything because we haven’t found a way to stop everything?”
Doyle says it is imperative to have a dialogue regarding gun control, and that answers will inevitably not come from Washington, but from constituents contacting their Congressional representatives vying for change.
“My hope is that we can sit down in a common sense, pragmatic way, make these changes that the American people largely agree with to reduce gun violence. No law will be perfect, but this is small steps in the right direction.”
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