Obama’s Gun Control Proposals

Obama has unveiled his gun policy proposals despite a lot of opposition from those on the right of the political spectrum. The proposals were released on Wednesday after receiving urgent cries for changes to the constitution and laws surrounding gun control. Obama announced that “we have an obligation to try” to reduce violence and called for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and wider background checks on gun buyers.The National Rifle Association (NRA), a very powerful US gun lobby group, declared their rejection of Obama’s proposals,  saying that “attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation”.

The president urged Congress:

– to reintroduce an expired ban on “military-style” assault weapons, such as those used in several recent mass shootings

– limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds

– introduce background checks on all gun sales; currently private sales and some sales at gun shows, constituting about 40% of the national total, are exempt

– pass a ban on possession and sale of armour-piercing bullets

– introduce harsher penalties for gun-traffickers, especially unlicensed dealers who buy arms for criminals

– finally approve the appointment of the head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

However, it is clear that the propositions would encounter stiff opposition in Congress with “politicians and special interest lobbyists publicly warning of a tyrannical all-out assault on liberty”. The US has one of the highest rates of civilian gun ownership in the world. The second amendment of the US constitution states, with qualifications, that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. Yet Obama, it has been argued, appears to be taking the law into his own hands by implementing strict gun controls. Although the meaning of the clause is still debated, many gun-rights advocates read it absolutely and oppose any curbs on access to weapons.

What are your views on Obama’s gun control policy?

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14 comments on “Obama’s Gun Control Proposals

  1. It’s a start, good move but I am sure this will be massively unpopular over in the states. Could this get out of control?

  2. Anonymous says:

    o District of Columbia V Heller. Scalia ruled •The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Scalia also stated ” The Second Amendment right is not a right to keep and carry any weapon in any manner and for any purpose. The Court has upheld gun control legislation including prohibitions on concealed weapons and possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, and laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. The historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons supports the holding in United States v. Miller that the sorts of weapons protected are those in common use at the time.”
    o

  3. Orlando Robinson says:

    District of Columbia V Heller. Scalia ruled •The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Scalia also stated ” The Second Amendment right is not a right to keep and carry any weapon in any manner and for any purpose. The Court has upheld gun control legislation including prohibitions on concealed weapons and possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, and laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. The historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons supports the holding in United States v. Miller that the sorts of weapons protected are those in common use at the time

  4. It is a big over step of presidential power. He went around the Constitution and Congress.

  5. Reblogged this on ThePoliticalIdealist.com and commented:
    President Obama has introduced a moderate set of gun control measures which, though I’d say he didn’t go far enough, will make the massacres we have witnessed more difficult to repeat.It is as much as we can hope for the Republicans to allow. I sincerely hope that Congress doesn’t shirk its responsibility to pass these measures into law.

    • CrankyBuddha says:

      How exactly will the proposed measures of the ones he announced going to help prevent tragedies like the one in Sandy Hook? I am not trolling but would like to engage with you in an open an honest debate. A conversation.

      • Not a problem. I’d quote from the article, in which it is explained that the proposals include:
        “reintroduc[ing] an expired ban on “military-style” assault weapons, such as those used in several recent mass shootings”, and also the limitation ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.

        If the weapons are not as efficient as killing, and time must be taken to load the gun more regularly, it is a hindrance to a potential mass murderer; many deaths could have been avoided if the gunmen didn’t have access to battlefield technology.

  6. Amedar says:

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  7. CrankyBuddha says:

    I hope the owner of this blog site doesn’t mind this debate happening here. If you do just post here and we will take it elsewhere. I also plan to post this interaction on my site as well.
    I will answer this in three parts.

    Part One – Slower firing weapons would reduce the body count in these situations.
    The perpetrator at Sandy Hook killed 26 (I am not counting his suicide or his mother who he killed in another location) and wounded 2. He did so in a time period that ranges from 14 minutes in some reports to 20 minutes in others. I believe the incident lasted 14 minutes and then he took his life when he heard the first responders but it was another six before they actually arrived. Taking the shortest time available (14 minutes) and the number of victims (28), simple math tells us that to have impacted this incident the rate of fire would have to be limited to twice per minute.
    The Brown Bess, the primary service arm in the British military from 1722 until around 1860 had a sustained rate of fire of 3-4 rounds per minute. British troops, being the best trained in the world at that point were considered deficient is they could not sustain a 4 round per minute rate of fire. This was a muzzle loading, flintlock rifle firing a .71 caliber (18 mm) round. It still could have been used to perpetrate this tragedy. Modern, breech loading version of this technology can achieve higher rates of fire with less skill and do not currently require a NICS (background check) for purchase.

    In the mid to late 1800’s mass manufacturing of cased ammunition allowed civilians and militaries to replace single shot rifles with actions operated by a lever, like the Henry and Winchester rifles you see in many western movies, or operated by a bolt action. Lever action rifles like the Henry were capable of firing over 25 rounds per minute. These were not adopted widely by the military because they were difficult to fire while lying prone on the ground and because bolt-action rifles, like the M1903 Springfield, could fire more powerful rounds. The rate of fire for bolt action rifles was also slower, just over 15 rounds per minute.
    Based on the sustained rates of fire for these weapons an attacker could fire 40-45 rounds out of a rifle from the 1700’s and between 210 and 350 rounds out of a rifle from the 1800’s within the timeframe of this attack. None of the rifles I mentioned use box magazines. Additionally, these are true rifle rounds that inflict significantly more damage than the caliber he is reported to have used, possibly increasing the death toll.

    While it is true that modern semi-automatic rifles can sustain a higher rate of fire, the bottom line is that almost any rifle made in in the last 300 years was capable of a sufficient rate of fire to carry out this atrocity. Most rifles within the last 150 years would be more than capable to achieve this with relatively little skill or practice.

    -Cranky

  8. CrankyBuddha says:

    Part Two – The Concepts of “battlefield technology,” “military style weapons” and “assault weapons.”

    This is actually the most difficult of the arguments to discuss. Not because of the validity of the argument but the vagueness. The battlefield technology of the rifle has not changed significantly since the 1940’ and those changes were simply to adopt technologies already popular with civilian shooters.

    In 1944, the Germans adopted the StG 44, the Sturmgewehr, or storm rifle. This has been translated, in some cases, to assault rifle. It may be this that the Brady Campaign in the 1908’s based their term, Assault Weapon, in an attempt to create a negative mental image of certain rifles that resemble military weapons.

    The military M-16 was based on the same concept as the StG44. Aluminum and plastic were used to lighten the rifle, make it more resilient to weather and cheaper to produce. The military designed a less powerful cartridge based on the civilian .222 caliber round, typically used for target shooting and hunting small game like coyotes. The reasoning behind this new round was because it was found that most fighting took places at shorter distances than in the past, to make it easier for soldiers to carry more ammunition and so the rifle would be more easily controlled in fully automatic mode. The round was also designed to be less lethal than traditional rifle rounds as it was believed that it took more resources to care for a wounded soldier than a dead one.

    Before the M-16 was adopted the use of synthetic materials and non-steel alloys began to appear in the civilian market. Why? Lighter weight, cheaper manufacture and increased durability. The .223 and the 5.56 mm military version have become very popular for hunting small game and target shooting due to low cost and good accuracy. They are not commonly used for larger game, 100 lbs. and up, because they lack the power to kill these larger animals reliably.

    None of this “battlefield technology” makes them any more deadly or dangerous than other rifles.

    -Cranky

  9. CrankyBuddha says:

    Part Three – “High Capacity” magazines

    Non-magazine fed rifles are capable of sustained rates of fire in excess of what was needed to perpetrate the Sandy Hook attack. Allowing for a minimum skill level (5 second reloads) and limiting magazine capacity to five rounds would have added between 28 and 100 seconds to the time required to carry out this attack with similar results. Large capacity magazines are more prone to feeding issues (jams). This likely limited the number of victims in the Aurora and Oregon shootings. So, limiting magazine capacity would have no impact on the lethality of these attacks.

    Statistically, stopping an attack with a handgun requires an average of three (it is actually between two and three but we have to round up) hits in central mass. Long guns, including rifles and shotguns require an average of two (again rounding up). Accuracy during such encounters is extremely variable but I think we can assume it will be less than 100%. One rule of thumb for “trained” shooters is five rounds fired for each attacker to stop the attack. By limiting the capacity to ten rounds, or less, means that any citizen facing more than two attackers will probably have to reload. Reloading when facing unarmed children is not terribly risky. Reloading in the face of a criminal attack is likely to have life threatening consequences.

    Limiting magazine capacity does not limit the evildoers but it will put law abiding citizens at risks.

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