Obama takes powerful step to end gun violence

Last week, President Barack Obama announced a new gun control plan that is designed to save the lives of the 30,000 Americans that die each year due to gun violence.

Obama, like many Americans, expressed his frustration over the abundant loss of life stating, “People are dying.  And the constant excuses for inaction no longer do, no longer suffice.”

 “We are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency … we’ve become numb to it and we start thinking that this is normal.”

If you look at any other developed country, you will quickly realize we are alone in this violent epidemic. According to data from the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime and the Small Arms Survey compiled by the Guardian, America has nearly six times the gun homicide rate of Canada, nearly 16 times the rate of Germany and 42 times that of England and Wales.

Anyone with an ounce of common sense would look at those figures and realize there is obviously a problem. Unfortunately, it is not a one our government has attempted to fix. How many more colleges, theatres, churches, stores and elementary schools have to be attacked before people unite and say enough is enough?

The new procedure will expand background checks, enforce laws already on the books, provide help for those living with mental illness and boost gun safety technology.

Obama’s four policies are not the beginning of a right-infringing secret plan to confiscate your guns. It is simply a sensible effort to reduce the number of bodies American families have to bury each year due to gun violence.

By expanding background checks and prosecuting those who sell firearms without making these checks, as Obama’s policy entails, it will be more difficult for those harboring malicious intent to get their hands on a weapon.

Before Obama even gave his speech, many of the GOP presidential candidates lashed out at the call for gun control. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio all promised to immediately repeal the order if elected president, while others criticized the action as an attack on citizens’ rights detailed in the Second Amendment.

Despite what many of Obama’s critics state, these policies will not inhibit any responsible, law abiding citizen from obtaining a firearm. If you can pass a background check, you can purchase a gun.

Every aspect of the new policy will only further protect those who are abiding by the rules. In fact, it goes above just ensuring only those who have a clear record can obtain a weapon. It protects those whose lives are claimed due to accidents.

The policy will require new guns to be safer to use by employing the abundance of security technology we already utilize with our electronic devices. Obama’s call for an increase of gun safety technology will not do anything but make sure your stolen gun can quickly be found, or that your toddler can’t accidently harm himself if it gets ahold of your firearm.

Our president also demanded help for those struggling with mental illness. Two in three gun deaths are suicides, a fact Obama somberly addressed while stating, “A lot of our work is to prevent people from hurting themselves.”

Opponents of gun restrictions are often the first to play the mental illness card when a massacre occurs to avoid passing constraints on guns. Luckily for them, this policy takes mental illness seriously and will help prevent someone not of sound mind from hurting themselves or others.

Instead of allowing ourselves to be divided by politicians who thrive off of a polarized nation, we should openly and earnestly seek a solution to the brutality plaguing our streets.

It is sickening that 30,000 people lose their lives every year to gun violence, and as Obama stated, “we do not have to accept this carnage as the price of freedom.”