US President Barack Obama has announced groundbreaking changes in America’s approach to gun-related violence.
America’s history with guns is long, complicated and violent. Today, Barack Obama has taken matters into his own hands by announcing a series of executive actions which will ensure stricter background checks on gun owners and heightened measures against gun vendors. And, even more amazingly, they will be passed without congressional approval.
Shedding tears as he recalled the victims of recent attacks, such as the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary school, the President – addressing a room full of people “who never expected their family member to be taken from their lives by a bullet from a gun” – said:
“The United States of America is not the only country on earth with violent or dangerous people…We are not inherently more prone to violence but we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency.
“We become numb to it, and see start thinking this is normal… and instead of thinking about how to solve the problem, the has become one of our polarized partisan debates.”
Speaking directly of the children whose lives have been lost he stopped and shed a tear, saying:
“First graders First graders… every time I think of those kids, it gets me mad.”
In reference to the strong American gun lobby groups, such as the NRA, Obama said:
“The gun lobby might be holding Congress hostage right now, but they cannot hold America hostage,”
Most importantly the new legislation will tackle the infamous “gun show loophole”, which allows guns to be purchased without a background check from private vendors at gun shows and online. A $500 million investment has also been made to improve mental health services, and the FBI have also been recruited to make the background check system more effective.
You can watch the full speech here: