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Obama and Biden Announce New Gun Control Proposal

Nearly one month after Adam Lanza, aged 20, shot and killed twenty students and six adult staff members of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut,  President Obama and Vice President Biden held a joint press conference to announce and sign 23 executive actions that would help prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future.  

 

The Vice President, long an advocate of tighter restrictions on guns, was chosen by President Barack Obama to lead a task force charged with devising a plan to address gun violence.  Among the measures the two put forward on Wednesday are tougher enforcement of background checks, a review of criteria for gun ownership, increased federal funding for gun violence research, and incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

 

The President underscored that more far-reaching restrictions would have to come from Congress, from which he expects to pass a universal background check law as well as legislation restoring the expired ban on military style assault weapons and high capacity magazines, among other measures.

 

Not surprisingly, the National Rifle Association (NRA) announced their opposition to the President’s gun control proposals.  In anticipation of the NRA's strong opposition, Obama urged the American people to keep up the pressure on their representatives to support tighter gun laws.  This matter, he suggested, should not be left to Washington alone.

 

The Newtown tragedy was a watershed moment for advocates of gun control, spurring a heated debate on the existing legislative environment that has made guns easily accessible to those who should never be permitted to bear arms.  For the first time in decades there is powerful momentum for tighter restrictions on the sales and use arms and ammunition.

 

Immediately after the Sandy Hook tragedy, opponents of new gun control laws bolstered their defenses.  The NRA called on its members to upgrade their memberships in order to raise more money to intensify lobbying efforts.  Since the incident, gun and ammunition sales across America have skyrocketed, as consumers fear that the weapons that are easily available now could soon be banned by the government.

 

The pro-gun lobby efforts have been matched, and perhaps even outweighed, by a deluge of public pro-gun-control campaigns.  NGOs, politicians, celebrities, academics, and ordinary citizens have all joined forces to finally put an end to America’s bloody affair with unbridled access to guns.  The White House has created a way for people to express their support for the plan online, and some of the other notable campaigns and initiatives are featured in our media gallery below.

 

Watch the President and Vice President announce their plan to curb gun violence:

An edit of the Press Conference by Mayors Against Illegal Guns:

 

Watch the full conference here: