By Greg Campbell
President Obama came out swinging yesterday as he kicked off his campaign to sell increased gun control to the American people. At his first stop on the tour, Obama took swipes at the National Rifle Association while claiming that the “vast majority of gun owners” agreed with his proposals of stricter background checks. He also pushed Congress to enact a ban on various firearms and “high-capacity” magazines, all the while admitting that it may not be the “perfect solution.”
His first stop on his new anti-gun rights tour was Minneapolis, Minnesota, a city that has experienced a drop in violent crime since implementing an anti-youth violence initiative.
However, despite Obama’s calls for stricter gun control policies, the anti-you violence initiative that has had results in Minneapolis does not include any gun control measures.
Obama touted Minneapolis’ success with the initiative and calling his 23 executive orders concerning gun control “administrative action,” he touted his willingness to unilaterally enact gun control measures, saying,
“We don’t have to agree on everything to agree it’s time to do something. That’s my main message here today.
And each of us has a role to play. A few weeks ago, I took action on my own to strengthen background checks, to help schools get more resource officers if they want them, and to direct the Centers for Disease Control to study the causes of violence…
So we’ve been able to take some steps through administrative action. But while these steps are important, real and lasting change also requires Congress to do its part and to do it soon, not to wait. The good news is that we’re starting to see a consensus emerge about the action Congress needs to take.
The vast majority of Americans — including a majority of gun owners — support requiring criminal background checks for anyone trying to buy a gun. So right now, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate are working on a bill that would ban anyone from selling a gun to somebody legally prohibited from owning one. That’s common sense. There’s no reason we can’t get that done. That is not a liberal idea or a conservative idea; it’s not a Democratic or Republican idea — that is a smart idea. We want to keep those guns out of hands of folks who shouldn’t have them.”
Obama and other anti-gun rights advocates have been advocating for universal background checks for months. While the NRA has admitted that they have supported background checks for firearm purchases in the past, the call for furthering the process to include private sales has been met with resistance.
The influential group has claimed that while the idea may look good on paper, the measure does nothing to deter criminals who don’t go through the background check process as is.
Furthermore, Obama and leading Democrats might have difficulty in selling the universal background check provision to the American people as the nature of a “private” gun sale cannot rightfully be considered private if that transaction is run through the approval of a government agency.
Obama further stated,
“We shouldn’t stop there. We should restore the ban on military-style assault weapons and a 10-round limit for magazines. And that deserves a vote in Congress — because weapons of war have no place on our streets, or in our schools, or threatening our law enforcement officers…
That’s why I need everybody who’s listening to keep the pressure on your member of Congress to do the right thing. Ask them if they support common-sense reforms like requiring universal background checks, or restoring the ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Tell them there’s no legislation to eliminate all guns; there’s no legislation being proposed to subvert the Second Amendment. Tell them specifically what we’re talking about — things that the majority of Americans, when they’re asked, support.”
However, despite Obama’s constant claims that America supports his efforts, polls and empirical evidence suggests otherwise as the NRA is consistently rising in popularity since the issue of gun rights has heated up while Obama has seen a fairly steep decline in popularity. Further, the NRA saw a quarter-million people join in the 30 days after Newtown and manufacturers and sellers of firearms and ammunition have seen staggering, record-breaking sales as gun rights discussions heat up in Washington.