If there’s one thing from today’s announcement that should clue you in on the fact that President Obama isn’t at all concerned with reducing gun violence, it’s this: amid the 20 or so different executive actions and policy proposals, there is not one that would increase punishments for violent criminals or those who use guns to commit crimes.
There were plenty of other proposals, however, and just about all of them are aimed at law-abiding citizens.
Until now, Obama had done little to rein in America’s weapons culture during his first four years in office. But just days before his second inauguration, he appears determined to champion gun control in his next term with a concerted drive for tighter laws and other steps aimed at preventing further tragedies like the one at Newtown.
The proposals stem from a month-long review led by Vice President Joe Biden, who on orders from Obama met with advocates on both sides, including representatives from the weapons and entertainment industries.
Obama’s plan calls on Congress for a renewed prohibition on assault weapons sales that expired in 2004, a requirement for criminal background checks on all gun purchases, including closing a loophole for gun show sales, and a new federal gun trafficking law - long sought by big-city mayors to keep out-of-state guns off their streets.
He also announced 23 steps he intends to take immediately without congressional approval. These include improvements in the existing system for background checks, lifting the ban on federal research into gun violence, putting more counselors and “resource officers” in schools and improved access to mental health services.
One of the most restrictive proposals was that individual gun sellers would now be required to conduct background checks. This would severely limit a private citizen’s ability to sell his own possessions. It would also drastically impact gun shows across the country.
Again, all of these proposals are aimed at law-abiding citizens who go about getting their guns the correct way. If the Obama administration were serious about reducing gun violence, they would go after the criminals who could care less what the law says about how they acquire their guns.