Saturday, December 22, 2012

Obama Speaks up about Gun Control

The president issued this response to a petition on the We The People forum which received nearly 200,000 signatures this week calling for tighter gun control regulations. The petition was started the day of the Sandy Hook shooting.

In the video Obama starts by stating that the constitution and our national tradition enumerate an "individual right to bear arms." Now this claim can be and is disputed, but the argument is not conclusive either way.

Obama then stepped up and did something he hasn't done before: call for specific gun control legislation. The President has in the past said things like "we'll look into it" and other such politically convenient phrases concerning gun control after all the other mass murders during his first term. But this time, he has called for very specific legislation to be proposed by January: ban on assault weapons and extended ammo clips.

The president goes on:

I also tasked the Vice President with leading an effort to come up with a comprehensive set of serious proposals to keep our children safe. Including strengthening school safety, improving mental health care, and addressing a culture that too often glorifies guns and violence. I have asked for these proposals by January, and I will push for them early in the year. I will do everything in my power as President to advance these efforts. Because if there is even one thing we can do as a country to protect our children, we have a responsibility to try.
This is more like the "we'll look into it" Obama we've seen before: placating all interested parties, saying all options will be on the table, we'll see what happens next year.

I'm hopeful that now we have the president on record saying he wants an assault weapon/extended clip ban, he will be held to that position. But I also realize that he has set himself up once again to wriggle out of anything more than that "common sense" legislation, and in the past he's managed to duck even that when the Republicans blow any steam in his direction.

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