I truthfully am at a loss to understand opposition to President Obama’s gun violence prevention proposal. Congressional opposition can be dismissed as Republicans once again playing politics. The knee-jerk reaction from the NRA speaks to the organization’s self-interests over the public’s welfare. And the opposing American public simply does not understand the content, which is basically as follows:
1) Gun owners are to go through a proper background check.
2) The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is currently required to report people who should not access guns, but states have been derelict in their duty, as evidenced by recent shooters who obviously should have been prevented access to guns.
3) The reinstatement of the 1994 assault weapons ban outlawing military-grade weapons such as the AR-15, which was used by Newtown gunman Adam Lanza and by James Holmes during the Aurora Theatre shootings.
4) Accessories to military-grade weapons are also dangerous, and Obama proposes banning extended magazine clips that hold more than 10 bullets.
5) Banning armor-piercing bullets, also known as “cop-killer bullets.”
6) Better-funded police officers, but Congress prefers to continue a course of austerity.
7) A better tracking system of guns used in a crime, tracing such arms back to the original owner.
8) The NRA has long blocked research on how video games, the media and violence affect violent gun crimes. It’s time we learn the truth.
9) Encouraging mental health providers to get involved.
10) We’ve all heard tragic stories of children who were able to access a parent’s unattended gun. Obama is calling on the justice department to initiate improved gun safety technology.
11) Increase the number of school counselors with funding from an existing Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring grant and a new comprehensive school safety program.
12) Encourage a safer school environment identifying at-risk students early and providing professional support.
13) The issuance of a directive to heads of state health programs, enforcing “mental health parity.”
For the sake of our children, grandchildren and the youngster next door, this proposal is needed to protect them.