All I have to say it is about time for both parties to work together even though I am sure not all members agree. On Tuesday, lawmakers revealed their first bipartisan bill to make firearms trafficking a federal crime. During a press conference the bill’s sponsors- Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Scott Rigell (R-Va.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.)- said that the measure would create one federal code giving law enforcement the ability to prosecute gun traffickers and impose up to 20 years in jail for those who buy guns for people who cannot buy them on their own.This recommendations is among the gun violence package give to the President last month. Scott Rigell, a sponsor of the bill, said “As a lifetime member of the NRA, as a firearm owner, as a father … I’ve got a problem with people who break the law using firearms because it inevitably puts pressure on my rights…When we punish the bad guys, we’re protecting the good guys. That’s really the essence of the bill.” Another bill sponsor, Patrick Meehan, said he’s “glad to be able to reach across the aisle and work toward common sense solutions” like their gun trafficking bill, which he noted has a companion bill in the Senate. For some like Cummings the issue is personal since losing his nephew to gun violence a year and a half ago. The man obstacle to this bipartisan partnership is whether the bill will make it to a vote. There is support from both sides but it all depends on whether or not House Republican leaders will allow it through. The Senate, however, will be the first to vote on the bill and will have to pass. Hill aids and gun policy advocates expect something to pass in the senate but are unsure about whether this will happen or not. The goal is to get as many single measures passed toward a solution to the gun violence issue, but combining them with other measures may hurt their chance of being passed according to the bill sponsors. The NRA has not officially taken a position on the new bill yet but hopes to work with Congress as it passed through the legislative process.
President Obama is considering 19 different gun control measures that he could take without congressional approval that address gun violence. The plan will be unveiled on Wednesday amid claims that he is overstepping his role as president says republicans. The House Press Secretary Jay Carney explained that a significant part of the plan included congressional action but some of the measure can be done by executive order. The measures include aggressively enforcing existing gun laws, amping up national gun research, tougher penalties for gun trafficking offenses, making gun crime data more available and taking action against falsifying gun sale background checks. The president is still urging congress to pursue other avenues such as renewing assault weapons ban and pressing limits on high capacity magazines and stricter policies for background checks on gun sales.
While the White asks for more gun control measures after the Connecticut school massacre, the NRA has asked for increase in school security and closer look at entertainment and video games. At the national level, advocacy groups and the NRA wants the Justice Department to crack down on falsifying background checks as only a small number are actually prosecuted. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says some 40 percent of gun sales happen with no background checks, such as at gun shows and by private sellers over the Internet or through classified ads.
It is sad to see our leaders still can’t agree on what to do in this situation. Gun violence happens everyday and the longer they take to fix the problem the more people die. To me it is all about looking the best and not what is best for the majority of the country no matter what party they belong to. The article and the representatives from the various groups have all admitted to the faults in the system but no clear strategy to solve the problem. I personally like what New York state has created which would be most restrictive gun law in the nation if signed by the governor. The measure called for tougher assault weapons ban, restriction on ammunition and gun sales, address the unsafe storage of guns and create a more powerful tool to report mentally ill people who plan to use a gun illegally.