President Obama's Executive Plan to Keep Kids Safe From Guns -- 5 Things to Know

In a speech filled with emotion and flanked by victims of gun violence, President Barack Obama made good on his promise to circumvent Congress and beef up US gun safety measures by executive action. Here's what you need to know.


1. He outlined a clear way by which to reduce gun violence.

Through executive action, the president wants to:

  • Close background check loopholes;
  • Invest millions in law enforcement personnel to both process background checks more quickly and enforce existing gun control laws;
  • Invest $500 million in mental health care;
  • Sponsor research in smart gun technology and other things that can make guns safer and more childproof.

2. The vast majority of Americans support these actions.

When it comes to gun safety, both gun owners and non–gun owners support Obama's executive orders. In fact, a survey from last summer from Johns Hopkins shows 85 percent of gun owners and 83 percent of non–gun owners support closing gun show loopholes and requiring background checks on all gun sales. A Quinnipiac poll from last month shows 84 percent of voters who live in households with guns support closing the gun show loophole.

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These actions are not controversial. They're what Americans want, and Obama is willing to do what it takes to get it done -- with or without Congressional support.


3. These regulations don't compromise the Second Amendment.

In today's speech, Obama both took the NRA and gun lobby to the proverbial woodshed and pushed back against their hysterical rhetoric by repeating that these actions on gun safety were "not a plot to take away everybody's guns." Instead, he says these are common sense steps we can take similar to safety caps on aspirin bottles and fingerprint locks on iPads.

"No matter how many times people try to twist my words around, that's our constitutional law," President Obama said during his remarks today. "I know a little bit about this. But I also believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment."


4. Republican politicians are vowing to reverse these regulations.

Presidential candidate Ted Cruz vowed to reverse these executive actions on gun safety, and House Speaker Paul Ryan released a statement denouncing President Obama's actions.

But the truth is, for gun control advocates, these executive orders are incredibly modest when compared to restrictions they'd like to see which include a ban on assault rifles and other weapons designed specifically for the job of killing large numbers of people quickly.

Republicans are clear: There is no compromise and there is no restriction on guns that would ever be acceptable -- despite the widespread support of common sense safety measures by the American people.


5. This is an emotional issue for President Obama.

Despite usually being accused of being too cool, detached, and unemotional, President Obama openly cried during his speech as he talked about the first graders massacred in their classrooms in Sandy Hook. For years the president has responded to news of mass shootings in America with anger and frustration over Congress's failure to put in place even the smallest safety measures to prevent more gun deaths.

Now, in his last year in office, Obama has committed to doing whatever he can to prevent the next mass shooting in America.

Here's the incredible, very emotional speech he made surrounded by Americans whose lives have been shattered by gun violence. Today they finally got some response from their government and from a president who takes their loss personally. 


 Image via YouGetNews/YouTube

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