Presidenttoday unveiled his gun-control proposals following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which claimed lives of 26 people, including 20 children. Following the incident, calls for greater gun control were made, with senior Democrats urging the reinstatement of an assault weapons ban that lapsed in 2004 and President Obama forming a gun-control task force headed by Vice President Joe Biden.
Last week, the vice president said that the proposals were to be put to the president, and today, in a press conference, President Obama revealed the proposals that the task force had made, calling for a ban on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and greater background checks on gun buyers.
Speaking at the press conference, where he was joined by the vice president as well as children who had written to him after the Newtown incident, President Obama said, "If there's even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try."
The proposals, which President Obama is to put before Congress, include bans on assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and armor-piercing bullets and thorough background checks on potential gun buyers and stricter control on gun-trafficking. In addition to these proposals, the president also approved 23 executive orders that do not need Congressional approval. The executive orders include a measure to encourage responsible gun ownership and lifting of a ban on gun violence research by a prominent federal agency.
Of course, the proposals are expected to cause quite a stir on Capitol Hill and the president admitted it. He said, “This will be difficult. There will be pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists publicly warning of a tyrannical all-out assault on liberty, not because that's true, but because they want to gin up fear or higher ratings or revenue for themselves. And behind the scenes, they'll do everything they can to block any common-sense reform and make sure nothing changes whatsoever.”
The Obama administration has already come under fire from the National Rifle Association (NRA), which, according to reports, added 100,000 new members after the Sandy Hook incident. The NRA recently released an ad that accused the president of being an “elitist hypocrite” for using secret service guards to protect his daughters yet not allowing Americans to do the same.