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Respond paper over the president Obama speech on reducing gun violence - Essay Example

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Response to President Obama’s Speech on Reducing Gun Violence Name: Institution: Response to President Obama’s Speech on Reducing Gun Violence In a bid to curb gun violence in the United States, President Obama recently signed executive orders on the sensitive issue of gun control…
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Respond paper over the president Obama speech on reducing gun violence
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Response to President Obama’s Speech on Reducing Gun Violence Response to President Obama’s Speech on Reducing Gun Violence In abid to curb gun violence in the United States, President Obama recently signed executive orders on the sensitive issue of gun control. The signing provided the widest measures in gun control witnessed in the US since the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that was enforced in 1994 and expired in 2005. This was necessitated, among others, by the Newtown, Connecticut, mass shootings. The plan by President Obama aims to not only reinstate and enhance the ban on assault weapons, but will necessitate, for all sales of guns, a criminal background check; restore the limit on 10 rounds for ammunition magazines; get rid of bullets capable of piercing armor; lift the freeze put on research into gun violence; necessitate four executive actions that will avail information to the background check systems on individuals deemed to be dangerous; ensure benefits of mental health are covered by health insurance. The executive orders, 23 in number, sent directives to various Federal agencies, drawing different reactions from the public and analysts worldwide. This paper will give a response to the speech given by President Obama on the efforts to reduce the gun violence as well as apply some critical thinking. Quite agreeably, it is time the people of the US were disarmed, regardless of whether the catalyst is war or economic reasons. As noted by Vice President Joe Biden as he introduced the president to give his speech, the world has changed since the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School and action is being demanded. On one hand, the President deserves credit for his sincerity on the matter and the efforts he has made. Signing of the executive orders does not give him political leverage as much as would other issues he has been pursuing in his presidency. The Newtown massacre must have genuinely moved him into responding with the plan he came up with. It was not part of his agenda during his campaigns last year and he did not have to do it. It greatly displays moral values on the part of the President. However, on the other hand, an analysis of the executive orders he signed shows he is not sure of what needs to be done and not many around him know either. Human reasoning is bound to lead one to believe that giving new promises to make up for what was not earlier fulfilled is likely to bear the same result; the promise will not be fulfilled. The executive orders have come at a time when citizens are aware that there were earlier laws that were not fulfilled. Among the things being pushed for is for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to have a director immediately, yet the president is fully aware that the senate has never confirmed even a single director to the ATF since the early 1970s. The position has always been held in an acting capacity. The president himself could and ought to have nominated one during his first term; otherwise this seems like a bid to show he is touching on every possibility to encourage citizens. It is apparent to most that this will not make much difference. The ATF has always operated under acting directors, with the knowledge of the president. There is also a proposal that a Presidential Memorandum will be issued requiring federal agencies to avail relevant data to conduct a background check. The idea is noble, but only if it will actually be done. President Obama’s administration has not executed all of the laws that have been in existence, with Congress only having funded five percent of the amount approved three years ago towards the background check system. Furthermore, the requirement that a letter be published by the ATF and issued to gun dealers licensed federally giving them guidance on running background checks against private sellers presents a challenge. It can only be effective if Congress passes legislation separately that will require private dealers to sell via those licensed federally. Allowing them the benefit of doubt, it may be understood to mean that they actually hope to achieve that. Planning to launch a national campaign on responsible and safe gun ownership is in good consideration of the society’s safety. However, this also comes out more as a move designed to show an initiative was actually taken, rather than an actual deed to curb the mass shootings and crime. In a clear manifestation of mixed reactions, 38 percent of Americans are not satisfied with existing laws on guns and support their strengthening. 43 percent think the current laws are adequate, with five percent actually wanting them loosened (Jackson, 2013). The president has the chance to address the massive problem of violent crime in the US by executing the already existing laws on the matter. The executive orders, if adopted, will give leverage to the effort, but the citizens need to see some credibility from the government by their working on the laws already in place before they can have confidence in the practicality of the executive orders. Reference Jackson, D. (2013). Obama gun control plan faces hurdles in Congress. USA Today, January 17, 2013. Read More
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