President's gun legislation goes too far for some
The president says he can't make a real dent in gun violence without help from lawmakers, but some Second Amendment advocates say he's already gone too far. President Obama took aim at gun violence Wednesday with a $500-million package that calls for dozens of changes. Some of the measures don't require congressional approval, but others do.
It's the most comprehensive effort to address gun violence in more than two decades.
Obama unveiled 23 executive orders and about 10 legislative ideas Wednesday.
The executive orders he's proposing include strengthening federal laws against illegal gun trafficking, better coordination and tracking of gun sales, stronger background checks, and reinstating a ban on military style weapons. But none directly strike to the heart of how to stop mass shooters from getting guns. That's Congress' job.
"The most important changes we can make depend on congressional action," explained the president. "They need to bring these proposals up for a vote, and the American people need to make sure they do."
But there are many Americans who don't think gun control is the issue, saying it erodes American's rights under the Second Amendment and penalizes those who don't commit crimes.
"It's not the guns, it's not the honest people, it's not the type of gun, it's not the type of bullet or magazines," shared Jack Iannantuono with the Eastern Pennsylvania Firearms Coalition.
He says reports like the one Obama signed give folks a false sense of security, and the government is not looking at the problem the right way.
"None of these work, it's culture of crime and drugs and if you don't keep these people in jail for long long long times, maybe forever, they will be the scourge of society, not firearms," said Iannantuono.
The idea of additional restrictions found some support here in the Lehigh Valley.
"A federal requirement on background checks on any individual that wishes to purchase a firearm is certainly a step in the right direction," added former Police Chief Ted Kohuth.
"Any gun in the United States that's not military use should be one trigger pull equals one bullet," said Easton Mayor Sal Panto.
While Congressman Charlie Dent doesn't support a ban on certain types of firearms, there are some topics he thinks lawmakers can work together on.
"I think we should take a darn good look at the mental health system. we should take a look at school security initiatives," shared Dent. "We should make sure that violent and dangerous seriously mentally ill individuals do not have access to firearms."
Kohuth says some of the president's ideas make a lot of sense, and it's a step in the right direction.
"It's not a toy. It's not something you buy as a gimmick then place on a shelf and forget about, it's a very very serious business to possess or purchase a firearm," Kohuth said.
"Guns are just becoming very prevalent in our society and the use of violence has become very prevalent," said Panto. "We need to curb that violence and change attitudes and behaviors."
For the president's entire plan click here.
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