Instruments of Death

AssaultRifles

“When I visited Newtown last month, I spent some private time with many of the families who lost their children that day.  And one was the family of Grace McDonald.  Grace’s parents are here. Grace was seven years old when she was struck down — just a gorgeous, caring, joyful little girl.  I’m told she loved pink. She loved the beach.  She dreamed of becoming a painter. And so just before I left, Chris, her father, gave me one of her paintings, and I hung it in my private study just off the Oval Office.  And every time I look at that painting, I think about Grace.” –President Barack Obama

Today, President Barack Obama signed 23 Executive Orders aimed at reducing gun violence. They Include:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

President Obama also called on Congress to enact a set of legislation that will help prevent horrendous shootings like the one at the Elementary school in Connecticut, Aurora, Colorado movie theatre, and Virginia Tech from happening. The legislation calls for proposed background checks on all gun sales and military style assault rifles and high-capacity magazines.

How did Republicans and their allies at the National Rifle Association (NRA) respond? They responded by criticizing President Obama and not proposing any legitimate ideas of their own.

 “Nothing the president is proposing would have stopped the massacre at Sandy Hook,” said a statement by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida. “President Obama is targeting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens instead of seriously addressing the real underlying causes of such violence.”

 The National Rifle Association (NRA) said, “Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation … Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy.”

I do not understand how Republicans and the NRA can constantly ignore the need of proper gun control. They instead conjure up ideas of the government coming to “take your guns away” instead of supporting legislation that a majority of Americans support.

The Pew Research Center recently released a poll (http://www.people-press.org/2013/01/14/in-gun-control-debate-several-options-draw-majority-support/) showing that 85% of Americans support making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks, 80% support laws preventing mentally ill people from purchasing guns, 67% support creating a federal database to track gun sales, and 55% support a ban on assault rifles.

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The modest Executive Orders signed by President Obama today and the legislation he proposed isn’t enough to stop all gun violence in this country, but saying these measures won’t stop massacres is no excuse not to propose and enforce strong gun measures. DO NOT tell me guns do not kill people because if that lunatic who killed those innocent children and adults in Connecticut did not have an assault rifle with an extended clip he would not have been able to kill the number of children he did.

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