Obama’s simple gun law grasps control of an unwieldy debate

The executive action implemented by President Obama soaks up some of the blood that has been shed by gun-related violence in America while politicians have debated the perfect policy to keep the country safe.

Illustration: Lucas Johnson

The executive action implemented by President Obama soaks up some of the blood that has been shed by gun-related violence in America while politicians have debated the perfect policy to keep the country safe.

Lucas Johnson, Sports Editor

President Barack Obama’s newly-implemented executive action on addressing gun violence is simple and straightforward for one main reason: gun violence only receives strong focus from the public, reporters, and politicians when a tragic event has already happened. A policy this simple can help to prevent future incidents from occurring by…

The executive action’s simplicity is its greatest asset, because it’s challenging for anyone to argue against a mandate that makes so much immediate sense. Even if, the argument is that guns are a basic right of the people, it is hard to argue that there should not be checks. This new legislation does nothing to take away guns from law-abiding citizens.

Does it make it harder for those with criminal backgrounds to purchase firearms?

Yes.

Does it state that local law enforcement must become more stringent with existing gun laws and that the federal government must give agencies more resources to do so?

Absolutely.

And does it aim to reshape the technology associated guns so that a fingerprint scan may become a legitimate way to unlock the capability to fire an arm?

Assuredly.

none of these articles hint at the confiscation of legally-owned weapons, and the media’s focus on that unlikely possibility as a means to criticize the mandate is taking focus away from far more serious domestic issues associated with guns.

As there is no doubt that these issues are prominent and serious, Obama’s executive action is not an attempt to sweep such issues under a metaphorical rug.”

While politicians and media spin-doctors have grappled over the means to deal with gun laws, innocent people have died. According to an Oct. 1 report in The Washington Post, between 1982 and 2012, 547 people were killed in the 61 mass shootings that have occurred in the U.S. in more than 30 states. In 80% of these mass shootings, the weapons used were obtained legally. This showcases the tendency for weapons obtained legally to end up in the hands of those who wish to use them maliciously. This is not to say that those who purchase weapons legally have an underlying propensity to use guns wrongly, but clearly a restructuring process is necessary in order to make gun violence less common.

Some find that the executive action undermines more critical issues surrounding gun violence in our country, such as threats of terrorism and issues of adequate resources for mental health treatment. As there is no doubt that these issues are prominent and serious, Obama’s executive action is not an attempt to sweep such issues under a metaphorical rug. What the executive action offers is a first step to a safer and far less violent country.

What the executive action offers is a first step to a safer and far less violent country.”

In United Kingdom, for instance,  fully automatic weapons (along with most semi-automatic rifles and pistols) are completely prohibited without explicit permission from the central government. The only weapons allowed without restrictions are hunting rifles and semi-automatic shotguns. These harsh restrictions do make obtaining such powerful weapons nearly impossible, but the results in terms of annual homicides are staggering, according to  the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the UK had a rate of 0.05 intentional homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011. That’s incredibly low compared to the U.S.’s 4.7 in 2011.

Although the suggestion is not that restricting gun laws heavily is the only course of action to prevent deaths involving guns, but making the sale of guns more exclusive to those without criminal history who can lawfully obtain them is the right course of action. There is still an unimaginable amount for the U.S. government to address in terms of national security and mental health research funding, there is no doubting that, but any step in the direction of making the United States a safer and more progressive country is a right one. Not one more innocent life should be taken as a result of a gun. This executive order is a brave step in the direction of minimizing intentional violence in this country, simple as that.