In the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last month, President Barack Obama vowed to take steps to make sure such an event never happens again. On Wednesday, he unveiled a long list of gun control initiatives that are designed not only to make communities safer, but to make it easier for first responders to do their jobs.
A multi-pronged approach
The plan was written with four specific goals in mind. For starters, Obama wanted make sure guns were kept out of the hands of potential criminals, remove so-called “weapons of war” from the streets, improve safety around schools and address the mental healthcare system.
Obama addressed all four issues in a number of sweeping proposals that includeboth Congressional initiatives and nearly two dozenexecutive orders he could implement, Reuters reports. The announcement sets up a potentially lengthy battle in Congress, but it’s one Obama says needs to be fought.
“I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality,” he told reporters. “If there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try.”
‘Weapons of war’ a priority
High powered weapons, like those used by servicemembers and first responders,have become somewhat easy for civilians topurchase. To address this, Obama proposed making it impossible for people to get magazines that carry more than 10 rounds. He also recommended eliminating armor-piercing bullets and strengthening a ban on semi-automatic weapons.
“I will put everything I’ve got into this and so will Joe [Biden],” Obama said. “But I tell you, the only way we can change is if the American people demand it.”
A lot of attention will be paid to the measure in the proposal aimed at reducing the number of guns on the streets,but Obama also included language that will help keep communities safe in other ways. In particular, he called for an increase in federal money to hire more police officers. In a similar vein, he suggested setting aside funds to hire at least 1,000 school resources officers to provide added safety.
Perhaps most importantly, the proposals could give police officers the ability to crack down on trafficking of illegal weapons, which would go a long way inkeeping them out of the wrong hands.