Skip to comments.President Obama: We must seek agreement on gun reforms
Posted on 03/13/2011 7:26:43 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
It's been more than two months since the tragedy in Tucson stunned the nation. It was a moment when we came together as one people to mourn and to pray for those we lost. And in the attack's turbulent wake, Americans by and large rightly refrained from finger-pointing, assigning blame or playing politics with other people's pain.
But one clear and terrible fact remains. A man our Army rejected as unfit for service; a man one of our colleges deemed too unstable for studies; a man apparently bent on violence, was able to walk into a store and buy a gun.
He used it to murder six people and wound 13 others. And if not for the heroism of bystanders and a brilliant surgical team, it would have been far worse.
But since that day, we have lost perhaps another 2,000 members of our American family to gun violence. Thousands more have been wounded. We lose the same number of young people to guns every day and a half as we did at Columbine, and every four days as we did at Virginia Tech.
Every single day, America is robbed of more futures. It has awful consequences for our society. And as a society, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to put a stop to it.
Now, like the majority of Americans, I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. And the courts have settled that as the law of the land. In this country, we have a strong tradition of gun ownership that's handed from generation to generation. Hunting and shooting are part of our national heritage. And, in fact, my administration has not curtailed the rights of gun owners - it has expanded them, including allowing people to carry their guns in national parks and wildlife refuges.
The fact is, almost all gun owners in America are highly responsible. They're our friends and neighbors. They buy their guns legally and use them safely, whether for hunting or target shooting, collection or protection. And that's something that gun-safety advocates need to accept. Likewise, advocates for gun owners should accept the awful reality that gun violence affects Americans everywhere, whether on the streets of Chicago or at a supermarket in Tucson.
I know that every time we try to talk about guns, it can reinforce stark divides. People shout at one another, which makes it impossible to listen. We mire ourselves in stalemate, which makes it impossible to get to where we need to go as a country.
However, I believe that if common sense prevails, we can get beyond wedge issues and stale political debates to find a sensible, intelligent way to make the United States of America a safer, stronger place.
I'm willing to bet that responsible, law-abiding gun owners agree that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few - dangerous criminals and fugitives, for example - from getting their hands on a gun in the first place.
I'm willing to bet they don't think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas - that we should check someone's criminal record before he can check out at a gun seller; that an unbalanced man shouldn't be able to buy a gun so easily; that there's room for us to have reasonable laws that uphold liberty, ensure citizen safety and are fully compatible with a robust Second Amendment.
That's why our focus right now should be on sound and effective steps that will actually keep those irresponsible, law-breaking few from getting their hands on a gun in the first place.
First, we should begin by enforcing laws that are already on the books. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System is the filter that's supposed to stop the wrong people from getting their hands on a gun. Bipartisan legislation four years ago was supposed to strengthen this system, but it hasn't been properly implemented. It relies on data supplied by states - but that data is often incomplete and inadequate. We must do better.
Second, we should in fact reward the states that provide the best data - and therefore do the most to protect our citizens.
Third, we should make the system faster and nimbler. We should provide an instant, accurate, comprehensive and consistent system for background checks to sellers who want to do the right thing, and make sure that criminals can't escape it.
Porous background checks are bad for police officers, for law-abiding citizens and for the sellers themselves. If we're serious about keeping guns away from someone who's made up his mind to kill, then we can't allow a situation where a responsible seller denies him a weapon at one store, but he effortlessly buys the same gun someplace else.
Clearly, there's more we can do to prevent gun violence. But I want this to at least be the beginning of a new discussion on how we can keep America safe for all our people.
I know some aren't interested in participating. Some will say that anything short of the most sweeping anti-gun legislation is a capitulation to the gun lobby. Others will predictably cast any discussion as the opening salvo in a wild-eyed scheme to take away everybody's guns. And such hyperbole will become the fodder for overheated fundraising letters.
But I have more faith in the American people than that. Most gun-control advocates know that most gun owners are responsible citizens. Most gun owners know that the word "commonsense" isn't a code word for "confiscation." And none of us should be willing to remain passive in the face of violence or resigned to watching helplessly as another rampage unfolds on television.
As long as those whose lives are shattered by gun violence don't get to look away and move on, neither can we.
We owe the victims of the tragedy in Tucson and the countless unheralded tragedies each year nothing less than our best efforts - to seek consensus, to prevent future bloodshed, to forge a nation worthy of our children's futures.
If those folks have registered themselves as a gun owners, they are pretty much playing obama's game already.
What we need more than gun reforms is sentencing reforms. Currently, something like 1% of all homicides are punished with a death sentence. I’d like to see that number rise to 50%. It would also be nice to expedite the trial, sentencing and appeals procedures for capital crimes. Singapore completes the whole process in 2 years. Its homicide rate per 100,000 people is 1% of ours.
After seeing the total destruction in Japan, does anyone not realize this orderly and comfortable life can be turned into a primitive jungle in an instant?
Bring it Kenya child, you have the reigns but you sure as hell don't have the horse.
Hey nobama, you worthless POS, what kills more Americans each day, guns or abortion?
Neither did the 94 million law-abiding gun owners who aren't registered.
The 2nd Amendment is my agreement nothing less.
Every time the self-defense denialists raise this issue, our legislators should respond with a non-stop barrage of bills and amendments that eliminate restrictions on the right to self-defense, and strengthen the legal safeguards for the unfettered exercise of that right.
Make them afraid to even mention the subject.
Not long after the shooting happened, I remember reading that it is easier to get someone involuntarily committed in Arizona than in most states. If that is true, then the young man involved should have been evaluated before the shooting and before he bought his gun.
Not only had he had previous legal difficulties, which were glossed over and not used to mandate a mental health evaluation; he was expelled from the local community college with the explicit instructions that he not return until he could present evidence that he was not a danger to himself nor others.
That certainly should have triggered an involuntary commitment action.
The failure here was not a failure in the gun purchasing system; there was nothing in the system to set off an alarm. The failure was not in the mental health system, which can't help people it does not know. It was not a failure of the educational system; the college can't seek a commitment.
If the legal system- the local sheriff's office- had pressed for an evaluation when it first became obvious that there was a problem, then perhaps the young man could have been helped and the whole episode averted.
My point was simply that it is already against the law for a mentally incompetent person to buy a gun and that no other “gun law” could do more than that.
The man-boy can’t hand the JOB of President, now he wants to be the Governor of Arizona. GO F yourself you fag Muslim basturd.
Get the federal government, which is forbidden by the Second Amendment to infringe on any American's right to keep and bear firearms, out of an area where they are constitutionally forbidden.
We can easily implement this by passing my version of a Federal Firearms Freedom Act, which repeals all federal gun control and firearms taxes:
Federal Firearms Freedom Act1) United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44 is hereby repealed in its entirety. 2) United States Code Title 26, Subtitle E, Chapter 53 is hereby repealed in its entirety.
The first part takes care of all of 922 and 923. The second part takes care of the Internal Revenue Code related to 922 and 923.
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