What Do You Think About The Obama Gun Control Proposals?

The president unveiled a sweeping number of proposals Wednesday designed to curb gun violence. Here is some reaction from local politicians and an area activist. What's your take?


President Obama on Wednesday unveiled what is being called the most ambitious gun control agenda in decades, initiating 23 separate executive actions aimed at curbing what he called “the epidemic of gun violence in this country,” according to The Washington Post.

According to the White House fact sheet, Obama’s plan includes:

  • reinstating and strengthening the assault weapons ban,
  • restoring a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines,
  • getting rid of armor-piercing bullets,
  • ending a freeze on research into gun violence,
  • providing additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime
  • calling on Congress to pass a $4 billion proposal to help communities keep 15,000 police officers on the streets, as well as new gun trafficking legislation that would “impose serious penalties on those who help get guns into the hands of criminals".
  • Making schools safer by giving communities the opportunity to hire up to 1,000 school resource officers and school counselors.

Here is some local and statewide reaction:

State Sen. Ed Meyer, D-12th District, said Wednesday he's not sure that the president's proposals will be effective.

"It’s moving the country in the right direction, but it won’t be very effective because it is continuing the legal use of gun magazines," said Meyer. "And our experience, we’ve been looking at weapons and gun magazines, our experience is that you can change magazines in one- to one-and-a-half seconds. Continuing to allow gun magazines is allowing the bad guys to continue awful assaults."

He also said he does not think any effective national legislation will be enacted anytime soon.

"From my vantage point, I also don’t see any chance of the president’s program passing House of Representatives, because of the Republican majority. This has become a totally partisan issue," said Meyer, who represents Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison and North Branford. He also is assistant president pro tempore of the state Senate.

In addition to the national initiatives, Meyer has been working with other legislators to come up with some gun control measures for Connecticut. Meyer's proposal prohibits the sale or use of any gun magazines, but it does provide for some specific exemptions for their use at gun ranges under certain conditions. 

North Branford resident Rich Burgess, the president of Connecticut Carry, Inc., a state gun rights group, provided this reaction:

"It sounds like President Obama has finally taken the first step in instructing his Federal employees to do their jobs as they should have been doing all along. That we had to wait for the Sandy Hook massacre for President Obama to feel compelled to instruct his employees to do their jobs is shameful. We are glad President Obama came around to accepting the NRA's recommendations of increasing armed security in schools (#18 & #12) and to increase firearms education nationwide (#7). We hope he works with the leader in both areas, the NRA, to implement these programs. We will be happy to assist here in Connecticut as needed through the work we have already been engaging in with regards to education and training."

Burgess provided this link, which provides the specific recommendations, itemized: http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2013/01/16/read_president_obama_s_new_proposed_executive_orders_and_legislation_on.html

Governor Dannel P. Malloy released the following statement:

“In the hours after the worst of our fears were confirmed, in the midst of the grief and sorrow over the loss of 20 innocent children and six dedicated educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there was one question on the minds of people across Connecticut and around the nation: How do we make sure this never happens again? 

“Today the President took the critical first step toward answering that question.  The common sense measures he proposed today are something that we should all be able to agree on, and I want to commend him and the Vice President for their work on this issue.

“I have no doubt that, state by state, we will deal with the issue of gun violence.  Over the coming months, I will do everything in my power to make sure that Connecticut is a national leader in preventing gun violence.  We will take steps to make sure that our gun laws are as tight as they are reasonable, that our mental health system is accessible to those that need it, and that our law enforcement personnel have all the tools they need to protect public safety, particularly in our schools.

“But we can’t go it alone.  We need leadership at the federal level, and for the first time in a long time, we have it. 

“We will not be able to stop gun violence completely, but we can make our country and our children safer.  We owe it to them, and to all those lost in Sandy Hook, Aurora and every other city that has lost someone to gun violence, to try.”

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn) released the following statement:

These are strong recommendations, and Congress should act on them now—before another mass tragedy occurs. If assault weapons and high capacity magazines were not so readily available, I am convinced there would be more little boys and girls alive in Newtown today. If background checks were universal, our city streets would be safer. There are no longer any excuses for inaction. If the horror of Sandy Hook doesn't move Congress to act on common sense gun laws, I have no idea what will. I’m so appreciative of the leadership of President Obama and Vice President Biden on this issue, especially their willingness to involve the Sandy Hook parents and families in this effort. Now, it’s time to get to work.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-2nd District), released the following statement:

“President Obama acted on the promise he made 30 days ago at Newtown High School to make our kids safer. His orders will plug holes in the background check system and help local school districts have police security. The common-sense changes to the background check program will stop guns from getting into the hands of criminals and the mentally disturbed, while preserving Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

“From the beginning, this necessary discussion has been marred by national NRA leadership’s attempts to divide the American people and prevent progress that even an overwhelming majority of gun owners and the NRA’s law-abiding membership believes is necessary. These reasonable proposals have been suggested to me in conversations with responsible gun owners in Connecticut since the Newtown tragedy.

“President Obama set the ball in motion today. Now it is up to Congress to build on that solid start. We can do this.”

helen h January 16, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Shamelessly exploiting and parading around kids as props to push his leftist agenda was the most sickening thing Ive seen a politician ever do. His proposals would not of stopped Newton and everyone knows it. A madman stole his moms guns and went on a killing spree. NOTHING could stop that except a cop in the school or a teacher or maintenance man with a gun. Mental health issues are the real problem. A crazy person could run over scores of kids in a school playground with a truck.
ckb January 16, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Continuing to allow gun magazines is allowing the bad guys to continue awful assaults-Ed Meyer...what a dope....What criminal is going to abide by his 1 bullet law? Honestly what kind of special stupid is he?
Mike Atkins January 16, 2013 at 08:24 PM
@ Helen so let's blame mental health, let's blame violent video games, let's blame everyone but ourselves. You sound just like the NRA leadership and every other gun nut out there...unhinged. Look at the second and third words in the 2nd ammendment. It clearly states "well regulated". So there you have it.
Donald Mei January 16, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Maybe the armor piercing bullet thing will pull the bolt action hunter guys into the battle. After all, your average deer rifle round like a 30-06 will go clear through a LEOs vest, which was designed only to stop handgun rounds.
Steve January 17, 2013 at 01:12 AM
Sorry Mike, but 'well regulated' in this instance doesn't mean controlled by laws. It means properly trained & equipped to 'regular' standards. If you've even seen a clock from the early 19th century, you may noticed that is says regulated on the face. That had nothing to do with laws but to show that it kept proper time.
Matt January 17, 2013 at 02:40 AM
Political grand standing with no functional purpose in reality.
Harold Phillipss January 17, 2013 at 05:45 AM
Van Robert Roxbrough January 17, 2013 at 01:21 PM
People who perpetuate these awful mass killings are mentally sick and are always young people, all the way back to the University of Texas Killings in the 1970's. Our emphasis to eliminate these tragedies should be to lawfully outlaw violent videos ,lawfully require mental health professionals to report troubled individuals, who could turn violent to school and law enforcement officials and to ban military type assualt weapons from the market place. They are military. Requiring background checks at gun shows for gun buyers where 40% of weapons are purchased, is reasonable. Criminals can always acquire weapons. Dog and pony shows are not the answer.
Doan Steel January 17, 2013 at 01:54 PM
Republicans block every effort for the ATF to do their job to enforce gun laws especially at the gun store level. If the answer is enforce the gun laws we have then give the ATF a director - which the GOP. Has blocked - and funds to enforce.
Kim Ruggiero January 17, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Our country is becoming a breeding ground for violent acts. The solutions go much deeper than guns and video games. The fish rots from the head down. Our government has set a tone of mistrust and a lack of respect and civility toward each other. Families who can't resolve differences divorce. Abandonment leaves young people confused and angry, turning to whatever--violent video games, drugs, etc.. The tones of the comments here reflect the same level of intolerance. If we want to solve the problem, lets get at the root of the problem. With consideration and respect for each other.
Heather Anatra January 17, 2013 at 04:41 PM
Is my name Alice? Have I fallen down the rabbit hole? Is it my imagination that the focus is on GUNS and not the perpetrators of these mass killings? Is anyone aware that guns have been around since 1100AD, the long rifle for decades, but these mass shootings are fairly new events. Is anyone out there on both sides of the issue aware of the fact that the profile of these killers is almost identical? Age group, male, mentally ill and avid violent video gamers. Am I the only one that can see that in the case of this last killer at the Sandy Hook school that he was probably into something darker than we can imagine? But we will never know since he had the presence of mind to destroy his hard drive after killing his mother. Does Hollywood carry any blame for its violent movies, music (#1 rap song about shooting someone) and video games? Don't we all know how much Hollywood influences us? Could it possibly effect a mentally ill person? Could it be that access to good mental health help would be too costly for insurance companies to cover? Are doctors, schools, social workers afraid of getting sued (Hippa laws) if they reported a person who could be a danger to others? Can I say anything without asking a question? After raising four kids, what do you think? Heather from Madison
Doan Steel January 17, 2013 at 08:42 PM
No guns no children dead!
Interested January 17, 2013 at 09:49 PM
Wait until these restrictions come up for a vote. Plenty of Dems will vote against them. Obama can't run for a 3rd term although I'm sure he's trying to find away around the term limit. Those senators and the entire house or reps who are up for re-election in 2014 may not be so anxious to follow their leader over the cliff. Even Harry Reid admits he isn't sure these restrictions would pass the Senate.
Heather Anatra January 18, 2013 at 02:23 AM
The worst school killing, 1927, Andrew Keyhoe killed 38 elementary school children and six adults and injured 58 other people in Michigan. No bombs, no children dead. Or maybe, just maybe, no mentally ill people with a weapon, no children (and innocents of all ages) dead. Should we outlaw fertilizer? Is it really the WEAPON or is it our culture? Did our president miss a golden opportunity to actually take a first step in protecting our children? Heather Madison
Donald Mei January 20, 2013 at 09:16 PM
No cars no drunk driving victims.
Donald Mei January 20, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Timothy Mcveigh killed 28 children among the 180 total. Janet Reno killed 23 children ar Mt. Carmel in Waco.
Heather Anatra January 21, 2013 at 12:47 AM
SORRY! Forgot to mention that the worst school killing in 1927 was a BOMB planted in the school by Andrew Keyhoe. Should we be focusing on the weapon or the mental state of the perpetrator? Shame on anyone (right or left or sideways) that is using this massacre for their political agenda! Starting now, all of us can make a real first step in stopping the mentally ill from harming others. There is a list of things we can do that will start the process. When we take the politics out of it, our first (but not last) focus is not on the weapon, it is on the laws preventing authorities from getting information on those that should not have, own or have access to weapons of any kind.
Rockland Farm January 21, 2013 at 09:07 PM
Unfortunately in a society that always expects instant gratification we want a quick and easy answer to our problems .It is far easier and quicker to pass a law that bans something and then for a short time get a false feeling of security . When alcohol was banned how well did prohibition work . It is easy to let our emotions get in the way of rational thought .But we need to look at the facts and statistics . The fact is out of all the gun crimes in the country so called assault rifles account for a very small percentage .So banning them in reality would have little to no effect . We also need to admit that the reasons the Adam Lanzas kill people and the inner city gang bangers kill people are two distinctly different problems and need to be addressed separately. We need to look at ourselves .We need to see how our actions leave impressions on our kids .We have become a poorly behaved society .Just drive any of our local roads and my point will be made .The next time your in the store and your or someone else kids are running wild think about what those kids will be like as adults . We either make excuses for these kids or load them up with prescription medication and we see what happens when they don't take their meds .There will always be people who use something irresponsibly . But to punish the many for the misdeeds of the few is just as irresponsible .
Fred January 21, 2013 at 09:25 PM
No guns, stalked women residing alone dead.
Heather Anatra January 21, 2013 at 11:37 PM
Rockland Farm January 22, 2013 at 02:56 AM
Thanks Heather .I have no idea how long it will take people to get it . These types of debates are tough . People are full of emotion and tend to take a side without much rational thought .And because of the way people are nowadays you can give them all sorts of facts and figures that support your view and it won't matter to them. They only have winning the argument on their mind right or wrong be damned as long as I win . I have been a gun owner for a long time . I have had my Pistol Permit for 33 yrs and my hunting license for longer than that . So listening to the anti-gun rhetoric is nothing new . We can tell them that there are laws on the books already that aren't enforced and they will spout nonsense about Republicans hamstringing the ATF. I can tell you from personal experience that when a bad guy gets arrested in say New Haven on multiple charges the Public Defender and Prosecutor get together and play lets make a deal . And 9 times out of 10 the charges like carrying a pistol without a permit are dropped . We simply do not enforce the laws we have . But those really have little or nothing to do with the mass shootings .Those were done by crazy people not drug dealers fighting over turf . But the same Governor who cut the Dept. of Mental Healths budget last year would be more than happy to divert your attention from that to guns .There are guns for hunting ,target sports and self defense .Any of them could be used to do wrong .But are much more often used correctly.


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