Obama: On common sense gun safety reform

~by Victoria Riley, GreeneCountyNewsOnline

President Barack Obama on Tuesday made remarks on what he referred to as “common-sense gun safety reform.” He was introduced to those gathered in the East Room of the White House by Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was killed in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT.

The White House website posted a transcript of his comments and an accompanying fact sheet, “New executive actions to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer”.

Obama’s common sense gun safety reform calls for background checks of gun buyers, better enforcement of existing gun laws, additional funding for mental health treatment and for FBI staff and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives agents, and better gun safety technology.

“We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence… Maybe we can’t save everybody, but we could save some. Just as we don’t prevent all traffic accidents, but we take steps to try to reduce traffic accidents. As Ronald Reagan once said, ‘If mandatory background checks could save more lives, it would be well worth making it the law of the land.'”

Obama┬áspoke of finding a balance among those seeking the rights guaranteed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. “Second Amendment rights are important, but there are other rights that we care about as well. And we have to be able to balance them, because our right to worship freely and safely – that right was denied to Christians in Charleston, South Carolina.

“And that was denied to Jews in Kansans City, and that was denied Muslims in Chapel Hill and Sikhs in Oak Creek. They had rights, too.

Daniel Barden, 2005-2012
Daniel Barden, 2005-2012

“Our right to peaceful assembly , that right was robbed from moviegoers in Aurora and Lafayette. Our inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, those rights were stripped from college kids in Blacksburg and Santa Barbara, and from high schoolers in Columbine, and from first graders in Newtown.

“First graders. And from every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives buy a bullet from a gun…. So, all of us need to demand that Congress be brave enough to stand up to the gun lobby’s lies. All of us need to stand up and protect its citizens….

“Yes, the gun lobby is loud and it is organized in defense of making it effortless for guns to be available for anybody, anytime. Well, you know what? The rest of us, we all have to be just as passionate. We have to b just as organized in the defense of our kids….”


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