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President Barack Cracks Down On Gun Control

America is in crisis mode. Right now we are being forced to make a decision as a nation that could potentially divide us. The question is, Is there a middle ground? And if so, what is it?

We all have read the stories splashed across the front pages of magazines and watched them, ad nausem, replayed as "breaking news" on local stations from coast to coast.

We remember the feelings and the horrible impact of the stories, even as the names of the rampages, the victims, and the towns fade as years pass. In our detached, sophisticated, and tech savvy world - we have learned to classify the acts of violence which, in some ways, desensitizes us to them.  School massacres, hate killings, workplace killings, postal killings, assassinations, hate crimes, familicides, domestic murders, and more. Most of these heinous, infamous crimes involve gun violence.

The most logical solution to this problem, one would think, is gun control. That's not as easy or simple as it seems and we have yet to figure out, as a nation, how to balance the rights and needs of "the few" against the rights and needs of "the many." The truth is - there are nearly as many guns in America as there are Americans. Think about that. There are 312,000,000 Americans. That is a stunning number. Yet, gun control is still a contentious subject in this country.

Something needs to be done about this. I can't imagine there in one person out there who would disgree with me on this. SOMETHING. NEEDS. TO. BE. DONE. The questions is, "What?" We cannot continue to call ourselves a [great, rational, thinking, intelligent, sentient, caring, compassionate] nation if we fail to deal with this serious issue. It's not about winning sides, it's about saving lives, and finding the best, most American way to do that. How much legistlation does it take? How much innocent blood is required? How much more violence should we contend with? And to what degree? We have been absolutley devastated by these types of senseless crimes. How much more do we have to take in order for us to take action? What has to happen before we agree on where we stand with guns in this country?


Do you? No, really - DO YOU? Think before you answer. And then think about what it will take to find an answer to this problem. Do I think all guns should be banned? I'm not sure, but I don't think my answer to that is, 'yes.' There are any number of reasons why people have guns and in this country it's not illegal to own one. It's not about taking something away from someone. It's about addressing a troubling and growing issue. How can you be sure that guns end up in the right hands and not the wrong ones? How can you be sure that a law abiding person who bought a gun the right way doesn't "snap"and go on a rampage? How do you make sure that "good"people carry guns and "bad" people don't? You can't - not really. Because good and bad, right and wrong, law abiding and outlaw - these are all circumstancial.

There's an old saying, "Guns don't kill people. People with guns kill people." And because we can never be 100% sure about the people, we have to be 100% sure about the guns and how the people get access to them. It's a fine line: Rights over Responsibility, but it must be drawn with absolute clarity and intention. 

In the aftermath of recent rampage killings, President Barack Obama has decided to ACT. He's issued 23 ACTionS he's willing to take to address the issue of Gun Violence in this country. They are listed below, courtesy of the The Atlantic Wire via Twitter.

President Obama announced that his Administration will:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission). 

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations. 

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement. 

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations. 

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies. 

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

If you are interested in reading Now Is the Time: The President's Plan to Protect Our Children and Our Communities by Reducing Gun Violence, please click the link to view or download the .pdf file courtesy of The Atlantic Wire.

And don't forget to weigh in on the discussion. Make your voice heard. Is there a middle ground? Can we realistically take measures to effectively stop gun violence in this country without stripping people of the right to bear arms? What are your thoughts on the subject?

Images Courtesy of: Flagged Out Bullets, Olga Miltsova via Shutterstock/Salon/Benjamin Wheelock; President: AP (Associated Press).

Keywords: barack obama, gun violence, president obama

Posted in Federal Government, CAN TV

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