Opinion

President takes strong stand on dangerous guns | Editorial

President Obama has taken a strong first step in the effort to control the deadly spread of guns and death. While some people may disagree with some parts of his proposal, much of it should be implemented by Congress – now.

The first is to renew the prohibition on assault weapon sales. This isn’t a radical change. That was in effect in our country until 2004 when the requirement expired. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be reinstated.

The president also wants criminal background checks required on all gun purchases. Again, perfectly reasonable. And those checks must extend to weapons purchased at gun shows. Another no-brainer all Americans should support.

Also called for is better access to mental health. That’s something the president can do now by executive order.

While we praise Obama’s plan, we know that it won’t end gun deaths in this country. Too many millions of guns already exist in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. But doing nothing, or delaying action, only will make things worse.

Predictably, the National Rifle Association immediately launched a PR campaign and blanketed Capitol Hill with its supporters. We agree with the concerns about the Second Amendment and that it has constitutional protection. But that doesn’t mean that gun laws can’t be improved.

Also, we’re appalled by the NRA accusing the president of being “just another elitist hypocrite” because the Secret Service protects his daughters, yet he has turned down the proposal to place armed guards in schools. The NRA’s true believers may agree with that thought, but most Americans should find the statement shameful.

– Craig Groshart, Bellevue Reporter

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