What Do You Think About The Obama Gun Control Proposals?

The president unveiled a sweeping number of proposals Wednesday designed to curb gun violence. Here is some reaction from local politicians and an area activist. What's your take?


President Obama on Wednesday unveiled what is being called the most ambitious gun control agenda in decades, initiating 23 separate executive actions aimed at curbing what he called “the epidemic of gun violence in this country,” according to The Washington Post.

According to the White House fact sheet, Obama’s plan includes:

  • reinstating and strengthening the assault weapons ban,
  • restoring a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines,
  • getting rid of armor-piercing bullets,
  • ending a freeze on research into gun violence,
  • providing additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime
  • calling on Congress to pass a $4 billion proposal to help communities keep 15,000 police officers on the streets, as well as new gun trafficking legislation that would “impose serious penalties on those who help get guns into the hands of criminals".
  • Making schools safer by giving communities the opportunity to hire up to 1,000 school resource officers and school counselors.

Here is some local and statewide reaction:

State Sen. Ed Meyer, D-12th District, said Wednesday he's not sure that the president's proposals will be effective.

"It’s moving the country in the right direction, but it won’t be very effective because it is continuing the legal use of gun magazines," said Meyer. "And our experience, we’ve been looking at weapons and gun magazines, our experience is that you can change magazines in one- to one-and-a-half seconds. Continuing to allow gun magazines is allowing the bad guys to continue awful assaults."

He also said he does not think any effective national legislation will be enacted anytime soon.

"From my vantage point, I also don’t see any chance of the president’s program passing House of Representatives, because of the Republican majority. This has become a totally partisan issue," said Meyer, who represents Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison and North Branford. He also is assistant president pro tempore of the state Senate.

In addition to the national initiatives, Meyer has been working with other legislators to come up with some gun control measures for Connecticut. Meyer's proposal prohibits the sale or use of any gun magazines, but it does provide for some specific exemptions for their use at gun ranges under certain conditions. 

North Branford resident Rich Burgess, the president of Connecticut Carry, Inc., a state gun rights group, provided this reaction:

"It sounds like President Obama has finally taken the first step in instructing his Federal employees to do their jobs as they should have been doing all along. That we had to wait for the Sandy Hook massacre for President Obama to feel compelled to instruct his employees to do their jobs is shameful. We are glad President Obama came around to accepting the NRA's recommendations of increasing armed security in schools (#18 & #12) and to increase firearms education nationwide (#7). We hope he works with the leader in both areas, the NRA, to implement these programs. We will be happy to assist here in Connecticut as needed through the work we have already been engaging in with regards to education and training."

Burgess provided this link, which provides the specific recommendations, itemized: http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2013/01/16/read_president_obama_s_new_proposed_executive_orders_and_legislation_on.html

Governor Dannel P. Malloy released the following statement:

“In the hours after the worst of our fears were confirmed, in the midst of the grief and sorrow over the loss of 20 innocent children and six dedicated educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there was one question on the minds of people across Connecticut and around the nation: How do we make sure this never happens again? 

“Today the President took the critical first step toward answering that question.  The common sense measures he proposed today are something that we should all be able to agree on, and I want to commend him and the Vice President for their work on this issue.

“I have no doubt that, state by state, we will deal with the issue of gun violence.  Over the coming months, I will do everything in my power to make sure that Connecticut is a national leader in preventing gun violence.  We will take steps to make sure that our gun laws are as tight as they are reasonable, that our mental health system is accessible to those that need it, and that our law enforcement personnel have all the tools they need to protect public safety, particularly in our schools.

“But we can’t go it alone.  We need leadership at the federal level, and for the first time in a long time, we have it. 

“We will not be able to stop gun violence completely, but we can make our country and our children safer.  We owe it to them, and to all those lost in Sandy Hook, Aurora and every other city that has lost someone to gun violence, to try.”

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn) released the following statement:

These are strong recommendations, and Congress should act on them now—before another mass tragedy occurs. If assault weapons and high capacity magazines were not so readily available, I am convinced there would be more little boys and girls alive in Newtown today. If background checks were universal, our city streets would be safer. There are no longer any excuses for inaction. If the horror of Sandy Hook doesn't move Congress to act on common sense gun laws, I have no idea what will. I’m so appreciative of the leadership of President Obama and Vice President Biden on this issue, especially their willingness to involve the Sandy Hook parents and families in this effort. Now, it’s time to get to work.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-2nd District), released the following statement:

“President Obama acted on the promise he made 30 days ago at Newtown High School to make our kids safer. His orders will plug holes in the background check system and help local school districts have police security. The common-sense changes to the background check program will stop guns from getting into the hands of criminals and the mentally disturbed, while preserving Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

“From the beginning, this necessary discussion has been marred by national NRA leadership’s attempts to divide the American people and prevent progress that even an overwhelming majority of gun owners and the NRA’s law-abiding membership believes is necessary. These reasonable proposals have been suggested to me in conversations with responsible gun owners in Connecticut since the Newtown tragedy.

“President Obama set the ball in motion today. Now it's up to Congress to build on that solid start. We can do this.”

Steve Bristol January 17, 2013 at 02:49 PM
It's pointless to argue 2nd Amendment issues; neither side will convince the other...but PLEASE stop using the term 'assault weapon.' EVERY weapon used in an assault is an assault weapon. I'd rather get people considering background issues. Parents and educators share a ton of blame in creating an environment where young people are unprepared to deal with real life situations. Parents refuse to be involved in their kids' lives. They don't monitor cell/text abuse, social media abuse, or speak with them about video game/youtube/movie violence. We can't yell at our kids or worse, smack them on the backside without having someone completely disconnected from a situation screaming child abuse. Heck, many will back away from monitoring schoolwork because kids might whine about pressuring them and get public sympathy over same. As a result, they are woefully unprepared for real world interaction, work situations, and the like.
Steve Bristol January 17, 2013 at 02:50 PM
The reason I include educators is that the modern system bends over backwards to convince students that everyone is the same: no class rank, refusing to fail failing work, social promotion. The new mastery tests will change the questions to fit the student's knowledge. Add to that the whole situation where zero confrontation is permitted because someone will be charged with bullying. When you get first-hand reports of bullying accusations due to competition in gym classes, making innocent comments about someone, or simply wanting to get someone in trouble because you don't like them or to get yourself out of trouble, we've gone WAY overboard. Kids are ENCOURAGED to claim the smallest issue is bullying without consideration of the facts. God forbid you actually argue with someone. As a result, things escalate under wraps and you eventually get an explosion. Add in the fact that everyone sees morons throughout society get their 15 minutes of fame or, worse yet, be held up as 'celebrities' and you get the inevitable 'explosion.' Education experts tell us that diversity is crucial to improving education yet the latest move is to segregate by age within a school (look at the planned Morgan Jr, with separate 'learning academies')--making for further isolation from interaction.
Steve Bristol January 17, 2013 at 02:51 PM
I know nobody likes hearing 'when I was your age' but when many of us parents were school-aged, if you had a beef with someone you argued it out or may have even tussled with them. Chances are you were eating lunch with that person the next day. Now you're more likely to be arrested. Students also see that educators' unions vehemently fight against true evaluations. The kids see this and figure that's the way real life is--that incompetence can't be addressed--and carry that forward when they have a career. Finally, an overriding lesson that parents, educators and society in general are instilling in today's youth is that nobody's responsible for their actions. There's ALWAYS some excuse provided and then feel-good knee-jerk reactions follow. It's well past the point where coddling should stop, nanny state bubbles need to be burst, and the like. If this continues, we will have whole generations who can't cope with inter-personal relations that are required in the real world. AS things get closer to reaching that point, I suggest you will see much more pointless and impersonal violence that no amount of regulation will prevent. Just my observations...Steve
Yankee in the south January 17, 2013 at 08:10 PM
There is no good use for assault weapons... is there a use for Bars, or drunk drivers. People get drunk at bars become intoxicated and then drive and then kill someone should we then ban cars. DUH
Phil Sengle January 18, 2013 at 03:29 PM
The gun proposals are basically dumb. Politicians are predictably grandstanding for their own benefit. All most will do is punish the law abiding with no increase in safety. The first factor in violence is the person who is emotionally unstable or just plain crazy. The second factor is the culture of violence promoted by Hollywood and the violent game industry (latest movie - "Bullet in the Head"). The smallest factor is the availability of guns. So what do they focus on - guns. Its easy to do that and will get the politicians the most votes. But it will have the least effect by far. Someone has to explain to me how punishing the law abiding will help with this problem. People with pistol permits usually don't rob banks or go on violent rampages. Did you notice that the liberals and Obama are not criticising Hollywood? And why did the state close most of its mental hospitals? And we can thank the anti gun ACLU for making it nearly impossible to commit somebody to a mental facility (if we had one). The end goal here is to confiscate all guns in private hands. Talk about a red flag.


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