Andrew Holleran / Photo editor
President Barack Obama outlined his gun control agenda which proposes to ban military assault rifles, strengthen the background check process, make schools safer and increase access to mental health services earlier this week at the South Court Auditorium of the White House.
“Reducing gun violence is a complicated challenge,” Obama said. “Protecting our children from harm shouldn’t be a divisive one.”
Vice President Joe Biden spoke before Obama.
“We should do as much as we can, as quickly as we can … we are starting here today and we’re going to resolve to continue this fight,” Biden said.
But at least one organization on campus does not agree with Obama’s proposal.
President of Buckeyes for Concealed Carry, Joe Smith, a third-year in security and intelligence, said that taking away guns will not stop crime.
“Anytime that you make any sort of legislation either from executive order or (Ohio State) campus legislation and you remove law-abiding citizens from being able to protect themselves, you’re not stopping the real problem. Crime will still exist,” Smith said.
Guns are prohibited on campus, a ban that OSU President E. Gordon Gee fully supports.
“I am totally, unequivocally opposed (to guns on campus),” said Gee in a Sept. 10 interview with The Lantern. “I want to be very clear about that. I think that is a horrible idea on a university campus for people to be carrying guns. Period.”
Buckeyes for Concealed Carry told The Lantern in late November that it intends to file a lawsuit against OSU for its gun policy.
Obama said it’s easier to keep guns out of the hands of criminals by strengthening the background check system, helping schools hire more resource officers if they want them and developing emergency preparedness plans. He said he would also make mental health professionals aware of their options for reporting threats of violence.
The plan also includes,
- Reinstating and reinforcing the ban on assault weapons that was in place from 1994 to 2004
- Limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds
- Banning armor-piercing bullets to anyone other than military and law enforcement
- Increasing criminal penalties for people who purchase guns and take a background check on behalf of someone else
Obama announced that his administration plans to spend $4 billion on a proposal that will put 15,000 police officers on the streets, $20 million to help expand the system that tracks violent deaths across the nation and $30 million in grants to help states develop emergency response plans in their schools.
Obama said however, the gun control plan will not happen unless the American people demand it of Congress.
“If parents and teachers, police officers and pastors, if hunters and sportsmen, if responsible gun owners, if Americans of every background stand up and say, ‘Enough, we’ve suffered too much pain and care too much about our children to allow this to continue,’ then change will come,” he said.
Obama acknowledged that individuals have the right to bear arms, a topic of continued debate in the aftermath of the shooting in Newtown, Conn., and other mass murders carried out with guns.
“I respect our strong tradition of gun ownership and the rights of hunters and sportsmen,” he said. “There are millions of responsible, law-abiding gun owners in America who cherish their right to bear arms for hunting, or sport, or protection, or collection.”
In reaction to the news, Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman released a statement.
“House committees of jurisdiction will review these recommendations,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel. “And if the Senate passes a bill, we will also take a look at that.”
Alexis Inman a third-year in international studies, said she supports Obama’s proposal wholeheartedly.
“I don’t believe that any civilian should have access to military weapons,” Inman said. “I don’t feel like it intrudes my Second Amendment rights because the way I understand it is when it was passed, it was to protect ourselves from the government, to protect ourselves rightfully within our nation. So what purpose does that serve now?”