With all eyes on the precarious predicament of the Middle East, President Obama has been adamant on keeping his domestic sights on gun control policy following the searing national tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Due to the frankly non-existent progress made in Congress on either side of the debate, the president's administration has created a list of 25 executive actions that the chief executive could take in an independent effort to reduce gun violence. While the president's views on the matter may not be viewed as a popular trend by legislators, he may actually make a more positive impact on his own at the end of his administration than by working with a stagnant Congress. The measures proposed are badly needed.
Vice President Joe Biden recently announced the latest two steps of the administration, which include curbing the import of military surplus weapons by private companies and proposing to close a loophole that allows convicted felons and others to circumvent traditional fingerprint-based background checks by registering guns to corporations or trusts.
According to Biden, "It's a very artful dodge to get around people who are not capable, constitutionally or legally, of owning a weapon."
Before these policies, the government had approved the import of 250,000 guns since 2005, but under these new policies, only entities like museums and government buildings will be eligible to re-import military-grade firearms.
"It's simple, it's straightforward, it's common sense," Biden said in the Roosevelt Room this Thursday. This followed Clinton's comment earlier this week reaffirming that, "A great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon … We must open those stubborn gates."
As expected, pro-gun organizations like the NRA argued that the administration's efforts "have once again completely missed the mark when it comes to stopping violent crime," said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. "This administration should get serious about prosecuting violent criminals who misuse guns and stop focusing its efforts on law-abiding gun owners." Essentially, the NRA claims that the ban on surplus firearms and increased background checks on corporations or trusts do nothing to curb violent crime.
Nonetheless, the Obama administration continues forward, with or without the support of Congress and other lax gun regulation supports. The president will however need to continue with more finesse when it comes to issues that could most effectively stop gun violence like an assault weapons ban and fewer exceptions for background checks for individual sales. Issue like these still remain in the hands of Congress.
Until then, it is clear the direction the White House will take. "Sooner or later, we are going to get this right," said Obama. "If Congress won't act, we'll fight for a new Congress," Biden added. "It's that simple. But we're going to get this done."