MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — President Barack Obama unveiled his plan Tuesday to take unilateral action on gun control.
During his remarks, the president became emotional, recalling the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that look the lives of 20 school children and staff.
“[F]or every family who never thought that their loved ones would be taken by a bullet from a gun…every time…I think about those kids it gets me mad,” Obama said, adding, “By the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago everyday.”
During the press conference, the president did not hide his frustration over his inability to pass gun control legislation. But despite high emotion, what the president actually did in working around Congress was modest.
Surrounded by victims of gun violence, a visibly frustrated Obama laid out executive actions he called a “first step” in changing America’s gun laws.
“We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world,” he said. “But maybe we can try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence.”
The executive action requires more gun sellers to get licenses and expands background checks.
The president wants more mental health funding, more ATF agents and more gun safety technology.
But he insisted his actions don’t violate the Constitutional right to bear arms.
“How did we get to a place where people think requiring a comprehensive background check means taking away people’s guns?” Obama asked.
Rob Doar, the political director for the newly organized Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, had a two-word reaction to the president’s order: “That’s it?”
He says the executive actions are so modest they will likely make little – if any – difference.
“I don’t see any real positive effects coming from it,” Doar said. “I don’t see that this is a pill that is going to fix anything.”
He added that he didn’t see any dangers in the action either.
At Bill’s Gun Shop and Range, general manager Clay Brisbin isn’t as concerned about what the president said but about what he didn’t say.
Brisbin added that, for the most part, there are already laws on the books dealing with most of what the president mentioned. But he has questions about how private dealers at gun shows will be allowed to work in the future.
He is also concerned about a possible gun registration, and raising taxes on guns.
Republican presidential candidates called the president “a dictator” and a “King,” saying he is trampling on the Second Amendment and wants to take away guns instead of dealing with terrorists.
In other words, it was a regular day on the campaign trail for them.