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Interpreting The President's Gun Control Proposal

Pablo Martinez Monsivais
AP Images
President Obama recalls hearing about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. during his speech on gun control Tuesday.

Each year, 12,000 Americans are gunned down by their fellow citizens.  In the past twenty years, 600,000 Americans have been lost to gun violence—more than the number lost during combat in World War II.  It is for these reasons that President Obama says he’s taken action to tighten gun laws.

In an emotional live speech Tuesday, President Obama addressed his plans for the future of gun control laws and expanding background checks during the buying process, citing recent mass shootings including the incident in Newtown, CT in 2012.

Kim Stolfer, President of Firearms Owners Against Crime, disagrees with Obama’s new initiative, and criticizes the lack of specifics in the plan, calling it an abuse of separation of powers. 

“Once again, the President has avoided dealing with criminals, and is putting the onus of background checks and expanding them in ways that the Congress and Senate has rejected.”

Stolfer focuses his argument on the fact that the judicial system has not done an adequate job in prosecuting violent criminals, and should “stop plea-bargaining charges away.”

Stolfer also points out that opportunity for mass shootings arises when law enforcement is unarmed.  He says that people carry fire arms for protection and self-defense, and that if a citizen can carry a weapon, there is opportunity for that person to potentially take down a violent shooter. 

“Laws are disarming people without giving people the right to do it, and we have that right,” Stolfer explained.

Shira Goodman, Executive Director ofCeaseFirePA, agrees with President Obama’s plans and believes that mass shootings do not happen because people are disarmed. 

She explains that in Tuscon, AZ when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head during an attempted assassination, a gun owner drew his gun but was unable to determine the identity of the shooter.  Instead, he almost shot one of the heroes. 

“It is a myth that the good guy with the gun will solve all our problems,” she said.

Goodman argues that Obama’s executive order is well within his range of authority, claiming that while it will not solve all problems, it is a start.

“It’s not going to affect the occasional seller who wants to sell a gun from his collection.  We’re talking about the guys who are selling a lot of guns and have avoided regulations, licensing, and background checks.”

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. - Second Amendment of the United States Constitution

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