President Obama's Gun Proposals

Thursday, January 17, 2013

President Obama makes a statement alongside Vice President Biden. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty)

Michael Scherer, White House correspondent for Time, discusses his cover story, "The Gunfighters", and President Obama's announcement of proposals to curb gun violence.


Michael Scherer

Comments [36]

The NRA does not just lobby for domestic gun sales, they are also meddle in international gun sales.

"Negotiators at the United Nations are working to put final touches on a treaty cracking down on the global, $60 billion business of illicit trading in small arms, a move aimed at curbing violence in some of the most troubled corners of the world. In the United States, gun activists denounce it as an attack on their constitutional right to bear arms.

'Without apology, the NRA wants no part of any treaty that infringes on the precious right of lawful Americans to keep and bear arms," National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told the U.N. this month. "Any treaty that includes civilian firearms ownership in its scope will be met with the NRA's greatest force of opposition.'"

Jan. 17 2013 11:09 AM
Tyler from Brooklyn NY

Suggestion for background checks and limiting abuse of the system.

Create a public website that private sellers can register and login. When they want to do a background check they need to enter the serial number of the gun. That will track the sales and allow data pooling for ATF etc.

Jan. 17 2013 10:58 AM


The NRA is ALSO a shill (lobby arm) of the gun industry!!

Jan. 17 2013 10:57 AM

"Since 2010, Ruger and Smith & Wesson – our two biggest publicly traded gun makers – have enjoyed a 150% rise in stock market value. In May, Ruger’s first quarter earnings more than doubled – and it temporarily stopped taking new orders since first quarter 2012 order had exceeded those for all of 2011.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said that the number of guns made in the US rose 16% between 2010 and 2011 to 6.4 million guns, and the FBI expects to run 17.8 million firearm purchase background checks in 2012 – up 9 % from 2011."

Jan. 17 2013 10:55 AM
andy from manhatan

I think the background checks should be for *ammunition* purchases, across the board. THAT will make it harder for anyone with a gun doing damage to others. Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people.

Pardon me if someone else has already stated this.

Jan. 17 2013 10:55 AM
JimC from NNJ

regarding private gun sales... require the BUY to get a background check certification... seller could not sell to buyer unless buyer provided the certification, which would then have to be submitted to database for recording.

Jan. 17 2013 10:50 AM
Joyce from Manhattan

what criminal is going to a gun store or show to buy? This law is ridiculous. A criminal will continue to buy weapons on the street with no checks whatsoever. I hate feel good legislation that has tons of unintended consequences.

Jan. 17 2013 10:48 AM
PJ Mom from Northern NJ

The NY State law is ridiculous. Anyone (mental health practioner AND any one else, such as a family member, friend) should be able to call the police and report any one as an imminent threat, especially when a gun is involved. The NY law is making a lame attempt for accountability and makes an unfair burden on mental health professionals.

The sad truth is people suffering from mental illness are more likely to be victims of crimes as opposed to being a person committing crime. (like the many times we've heard about the nyc police shooting and killing mentally ill people).

The indisputable fact is: no guns, no gun deaths.

So we can't eliminate guns. But we should require that anyone owning a gun needs to have an insurance policy that covers liability from any devastation resulting from their guns. Lock them up or you're financially responsible. Can't get coverage, can't own a gun. Your gun is stolen, you have a fiduciary responsibility to report its theft.

If you want to own a military style weapon, then you should sign up for military duty, where (as is current U.S. policy) you are required to go through a psychological exam and thorough training in usage.

And what about the mental illness the executive board of the NRA and other gun lobby groups/manufacturers profess as reflected in their sickening propaganda? They sell crazy very effectively. And the general population says and does nothing to call them out on their absurd claims!!!

Jan. 17 2013 10:47 AM

Type "Why I Carry" into YouTube. Paranoia is definitely the overarching theme for these folks. The NRA fuels and exploits this unfounded fear.

The NRA also takes HUGE amounts of $$ from the gun industry. They have collected up to $38 million from gun manufacturers since 2005. They collect more from the gun industry than they do from members' dues!!! They are the de facto LOBBY arm of the gun industry.

The NRA has a vested interest in SELLING more GUNS!! SURPRISE?!

Jan. 17 2013 10:46 AM
Cynthia from NYC- East Harlem

I am tired of this defeatist attitude before even trying. We let the fringe win every time we don't challenge their logic. Just because they say it doesn't make it right or wise. We are not in 1776 and they are not screaming about protecting themselves from a burglar in their home but in the police, and army - Paranoia and fear mongering. All we need for evil to occur is that good people do NOTHING!!!! I want our leaders to LEAD not follow the basest element of our society - LEAD ALREADY!!!!!! otherwise get out of the way!!

Jan. 17 2013 10:44 AM

Martin the Moron.

Jan. 17 2013 10:40 AM
JT from LI

@Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

You write as if the right has been very cordial and tried very hard to work with Obama. Four years ago Mitch McConnell said that their main goal was to make sure Obama was a one term president. Since then he's been questioned on his faith, nationality and loyalty, and been called a socialist, communist, fascist, extremist, terrorist that is destroying this country. The right was very clear that this country would cease to exist if Obama was reelected. Many have gone out of their way to flip positions if Obama took a similar stance on an issue. So calling many from the right out on this issue is really just being honest.

Jan. 17 2013 10:40 AM
Roy from Queens

@Ed from Larchmont: Please don't compare abortion with the Sandy Hook Elementary. A child is a child. A fetus is a fetus. End of discussion, and your theocratic stance is nothing but horse manure.

Jan. 17 2013 10:39 AM

"Freeze on gun violence research"???

Hmm, where did this come from...???

"The nation might be in a better position to act if medical and public health researchers had continued to study these issues as diligently as some of us did between 1985 and 1997. But in 1996, pro-gun members of Congress mounted an all-out effort to eliminate the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although they failed to defund the center, the House of Representatives removed $2.6 million from the CDC's budget—precisely the amount the agency had spent on firearm injury research the previous year. Funding was restored in joint conference committee, but the money was earmarked for traumatic brain injury. The effect was sharply reduced support for firearm injury research.

To ensure that the CDC and its grantees got the message, the following language was added to the final appropriation: “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control."

Jan. 17 2013 10:38 AM
fuva from harlemworld

As usual, Martin C., what you're saying will absolutely not stand up to scrutiny. I mean, this thesis of (moderate) Obama's political incivility is the exact opposite of fact.
(Hopefully, there are no guns in your household.)

Jan. 17 2013 10:36 AM

It's like the culture war we've been involved with for years... but this time we're the bad guys.

If you're so against guns, repeal the 2nd amendment. If you're against crime and poverty, support social programs and community outreach.

Jan. 17 2013 10:34 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

We need her running our society ??!!!

She HERSELF is dangerous to parents and families.

Jan. 17 2013 10:34 AM

I have two questions.

1. Why not require gun owners to insure their weapons against illegal or improper or unauthorized use?

2. Why does no one quote the entire 2nd Amendment? That is the key to this whole debate, it seems to me. A citizen is not automatically a member of a well-regulated militia, right?

Jan. 17 2013 10:30 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

The "gun right" have relied on that delta between gunowners and gun-neutrals enthusiasm to make the environment dangerous for all of us.

As a result, the deadly probability that a homicidal crazy obtains high capacity weaponry is too frequent. We don't seem to have a handle on how to reduce the crazies, so what is wrong with reducing the probability that they will gain access to guns? The same day as Newtown a crazy with a knife attacked a daycare center in China. Only two dead. Still too many but not 28.

I am with jcs...unauthorized use of a gun should result in, at least, an accessory charge. Lock your weapons up when they are not in use. Microprint assault weapon bullets - 7.62mm and .223 - so we can track who and where purchased.

If we are going to win the anti-gun has to be as passionate about it as the gun rights side.

Jan. 17 2013 10:29 AM
Mario from Westchester

There is a lot of talk about mental health but no mention of the drugs that many of these killers are taking that have side effects that drive them to the very acts they commit. I would like to hear a show about the violent side effects of the drugs themselves.

Jan. 17 2013 10:28 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Even when I agree in substance with Obama, as I somewhat do in this instance, I find his combination of self-righteousness and demagoguery to be off-putting. In his remarks on guns, for example, the president once again took to the task of demonizing his opponents, something he does more promiscuously than any president I can recall.

For Mr. Obama, it’s never about honest differences over policies. His political opponents have to be painted as morally obtuse, cruel and motivated by the basest considerations. Mr. Obama’s political libel is so common that people have come to accept it. And journalists who jump on backbenchers from the GOP for their incivility never call out Obama on his ugly little game. I wonder if Obama understands how much damage he’s doing to America’s political culture, or if he even cares.

Jan. 17 2013 10:26 AM
Chris from Brooklyn

I tend to agree with the new proposals. Now is the time to push for the Mental Health Parity Act to make sure that people have access to mental health treatment. Access is often very limited, in too many ways to elaborate in this forum...

Jan. 17 2013 10:26 AM

would a right wing person even go to a therapist? Seems most of them don’t believe in science?

Jan. 17 2013 10:26 AM
Mary from Connecticut

Is it true that the Newtown gunman wore body armor? If so, doesn't that make the NRA's suggestion for armed guards ineffective? And what about the families of the mentally ill -- with the NRA protecting their rights, the notion of expanding lists of people with mental illnesses only stops them (at best) from buying, not from acces. And gun lockers are mainly designed to keep children away from guns, rarely effective against adults with a crowbar or heavy hammer.

Jan. 17 2013 10:25 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Bravo Bob - the US is to Mexico, what North Carolina & Georgia is to New York and Chicago.

Jan. 17 2013 10:24 AM
Lisa from hudson valley

The republican gun advocates seemed to be pushing hard for a mental health component in the first responses after Sandy Hook, maybe to keep the discussion away from gun control itself. Now they are having a problem with a mental health solution as well. Mental health professionals reporting their patients should be a policy of last resort. Such a privacy infringement wouldn't be necessary if our country wasn't flooded with assault weapons and hand guns.

Jan. 17 2013 10:23 AM

The caller who wants to stop people from killing themselves... they don't need a gun to do that. If they chose that method, it is not reasonable to assume that they would not have chosen another.

Jan. 17 2013 10:22 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

So Obama ignores gun control for 4 years, until he is safely elected and now he wants to throw his colleagues under the bus by asking them to support bills that will give then grief in the 2014 mid terms?

Jan. 17 2013 10:22 AM
JT from LI

@Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Anyone can post a video as Anonymous. Doesn't mean a thing.

Jan. 17 2013 10:20 AM
Bob from Westchester

@ Martin C - In fairness, you should note that almost all the guns in the hands of the Mexican drug cartels are manufactured and bought legally in the U.S. and then smuggled into Mexico.

Jan. 17 2013 10:17 AM
Carin from NYC

I do think that requiring therapists and counselors, who are less well trained, to report are spot on. Bipolar disorder and depression are well represented in my family. If we had a culture of gun ownership, my immediate family would be smaller.

Jan. 17 2013 10:14 AM
fuva from harlemworld

The problem with the "gun debate" is that -- as with all current critical societal issues -- it's not really a debate. Because we have no effective, efficient way to engage the citizenry in full, informed discourse, that produces good solutions, with buy-in, and that satisfies citizens across the spectrum that they've been heard and considered

Jan. 17 2013 10:14 AM
Thom from NYC

Allowing therapists to report patients at their own discretion is one thing, but requiring therapists, to report patients as Cuomo has apparently done, is another thing and sounds to me like it will backfire, making it more dangerous for all of us. I think this is a very dangerous thing -- we should be making it easier for those who need treatment to get it, not scaring them away. I am speaking as someone who does NOT have guns and does not need therapy, but as someone concerned about all of our safety, health, and wellbeing.

Jan. 17 2013 10:13 AM

If you are taking calls, I will try to call in. That said, please ask your guest(s) what are the current FEDERAL laws regarding gun owner responsibilities for keeping their weapons secure/under their control at all times. All rights come with responsibilities. Anyone choosing to exercise what they believe is their absolute right to own firearms MUST be held fully accountable for what ANYONE does with them. Had Adam Lanza's mother survived, I feel she should then have been charged with 26 counts of negligent homicide.

If a burglar breaks into your home and takes the gun off of your nightstand while you're at work, you should be charged with negligence AND with crimes later committed with that weapon. If the intruder crowbarred his way into your locked gun cabinet, that might get you off the hook.

Jan. 17 2013 09:29 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

LOL .... note THIS opinion on Obama’s gun policy-

“ANONYMOUS likens Obama gun control policy to Hitler”

Hacktivist group Anonymous has now spoken out against President Barack Obama’s intentions to enact wider gun control in the U.S. “This is exactly what Adolf Hitler did to disarm the German people and look at the atrocities his administration did.”
“Mexico has a total gun ban for all citizens, but in the last three years, more than 55,000 people have been killed by guns because only the drug cartels and the criminal government have them.”

Jan. 17 2013 07:09 AM
Ed from Larchmont

NPR reported this morning that Senator Harry Reid won his close fought senate race through the support of the NRA. This should be good.

The president wants to protect children - this is a man who four times in Illinois voted that a child born alive in a failed abortion should be allowed to die and that the hospital had no obligation to treat such a child (way beyond Roe v. Wade). And he has expanded abortion in every possible way. A bit of a contradiction here.

Jan. 17 2013 05:47 AM

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