By Teresa Welsh |
Wednesday, a little over a month after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary rocked the nation, President Obama unveiled his proposals to address gun violence in the United States. The initiatives—which include things that require both executive and congressional action—were hashed out by a special task force led by Vice President Joe Biden.
Obama encouraged Congress to pass legislation which, among other things, would increase background check protocols; ban assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition, and armor-piercing bullets; and provide more funding for additional police officers on the street, first responder training, mental health programs, and school emergency plans. The president also announced executive measures to make data relevant to background checks more available; to nominate a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives director; to increase Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research into gun violence; and to encourage the hiring of "school resource officers" at schools, among other initiatives.
The president called his proposals "commonsense measures" that "have the support of the majority of the American people." In a statement released in response to the White House announcement, the National Rifle Association said: "Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation." The group suggested that it would oppose at least some of Obama's proposals.
Should Obama's gun control proposals be enacted? Here is the Debate Club's take:
Danielle Baussan Associate Director for Government Affairs at the Center for American Progress.
Lindsay Nichols Staff Attorney with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner Cofounder and CEO of MomsRising
Erich Pratt Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America.