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President Obama Calls for Universal Background Checks—Your Thoughts?

In an address Wednesday, Obama announced he would sign 23 executive orders related to gun control, public safety and mental health.

President Obama announced Wednesday he will ask Congress to pass legislation requiring universal background checks for anyone attempting to buy a gun, restore a ban on military-style assault weapons, and limit ammunition magazines to ten bullets. 

What do you think of the president's proposals? Tell us in the comments section.

Obama also said he will sign 23 executive orders to enhance background checks, give mental health professionals more options for reporting threats of violence, and providing additional funds to schools to hire resource officers.

Repeatedly mentioning mass shootings in Newtown, CT; Clackamas, OR; and Aurora, CO, Obama said significant enhancements in gun control will come only if people from all parts of the country—including current gun owners—support the changes.

"We have to examine ourselves and our hearts, and ask ourselves, what is important?" he said. "This will not happen unless the American people demand it.”

As a reminder that he has to do "my part," the president has hung a painting by 7-year-old Grace McDonnell, one of the 25 Newtown victims, in his private study, he said. 

More details on Obama's proposals can be found in the attached PDF or on a new White House website dedicated to the topic.

Frank Geefay January 18, 2013 at 12:16 AM
I hope President Obama can get most of his proposed gun legislation through congress. There is much fear among gun advocates such as the NRA that once you start regulating guns it keeps on going until guns are totally banned. But unlike many partial bans such as smoking gun ownership is protected by the 2nd Amendment so it cannot be totally ban. The President is trying to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill as well as reduce the overwhelming fire power of guns to something that makes common sense. The only legitimate reasons for owning guns are for gun collecting, hunting, self protection, and target practice. Modern assault weapons, 50 bullet clips and armored piercing bullets do not fall into any legitimate category. So what justification can there be for not banning them? The NRA helped pass legislation to prevent the CDC from doing research on gun fatalities. The President wants Congress to lift this ban. Currently there are almost as many fatalities from guns as from auto accidents, about 11,000 each annually, more than the total of all wars since Vietnam. Wouldn't it be nice to reduce these gun related fatalities as we have for car accidents? Or does gun ownership outweigh any safety considerations? I feel that gun VIOLENCE in the US should be treated like Home Land Security. Almost 4 times more Americans die from guns annually than died on 9/11. It’s time for Congress to address gun violence seriously.
Mark Burns January 19, 2013 at 11:38 PM
What point are you trying to make mentioning 9/11 Frank? If you multiply the amount of time the attacks took place over the course of a year; that would be almost 9,000,000 fatalities. Hmm. That versus 11,000 . . . I guess what you are saying is that planes could theoretically be responsible for wiping out 2.8% of the US population if they were in the wrong hands. And are you saying that Congress doesn't take gun violence seriously? Strong allegations Frank.

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