WASHINGTON (1/16/2013) - President Barack Obama presented some of his proposals to the nation today. In a passionate and pointed presentation, the President laid out a few points that he and Vice President Biden are pushing to reduce gun violence in the United States.
The President outlined three steps that he believed needed to be accomplished.
1. Require all gun buyers to undergo a background check.
2. Prohibit assault type weapons.
3. Prohibit magazines or clips with a capacity of more than 10 rounds.
The President referred to the production of the weapons rather than the sale or possession of such weapons. The assumption is that the President is referring to the sale of such weapons as was the case in the previous ban on assault rifles and not the sale.
The President said that most Americans were in favor of the steps outlined. That remains to be seen.
The NRA will have some strong and pointed rebuttal to the proposal. Currently, the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) performed by the FBI when a person buys a firearm has been successful; however, the holes in the system allow unlicensed individuals to sell firearms to one another without any check. The only civilian access to the NICS is by federally licensed firearms dealers holding a valid Federal Firearms License (FFL). Under Obama’s proposal, persons wishing to transfer a firearm would have to do the transfer through a FFL holder. The licensed dealer will usually charge a fee per firearm. This fee varies by dealer.
The previous ban on assault rifles proved to be ineffective. Congress would have to look for ways to improve the law over the past. The problem has been that many hunting rifles are much more lethal than the so called assault rifles.
Guns can be very good when you are hunting, sport shooting, or defending your home, loved ones, and yourself. Guns can be very bad when used as an offensive weapon to cast harm on others. It is the same gun used for different purposes.
The same argument for the high-capacity magazines falls short. Most states prohibit high-capacity magazines for hunting. In most defensive situations, very few rounds are usually fired. It is the offensive use of a weapon where the high-capacity magazines seem to suit better.
The tougher background screening will probably pass congress, as will the restriction on the sale of high-capacity magazines. Another assault weapon ban is much less likely.
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