President Barack Obama plans to approve several executive orders to initiate gun control measures that Congress is unlikely to pass.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in an Oct. 5 press conference that the president’s actions were in response to the recent shooting in Oregon, where a gunman killed nine people attending a writing class. Witnesses said he killed those proclaiming a Christian faith and wounded others, stating they were of another faith, no faith, or not answering the question.
“It’s a high priority and will continue to be until we start to see more progress on this issue in this town,” Earnest said.
The exact orders are not yet drawn, and Earnest would not talk about any specific details of the measures during the press conference. He only would say the process was “ongoing.”
“I can tell you that they’re not stumped, they’re continuing to review the law that’s on the books and continuing to consult with legal authorities but also others who may have ideas about what steps that can be taken to keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” Earnest said.
The president has not fared well in past attempts to get gun control legislation through Congress. Obama wanted a ban on assault weapons and wider background checks, but that failed in 2013. A weakened bill on background checks, debated in Congress after the Newtown, Conn., massacre of schoolchildren, died in a Senate filibuster.
After that failed attempt, the president signed 23 executive orders to reduce firearm violence. He didn’t introduce any gun control legislation when Democrats had control of both chambers after Obama became president in 2009.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton presented her gun control proposals on Oct. 5. Gun rights supporters fear her proposal would circumvent Congress because it allows for executive orders to mandate background checks on all gun purchases, both from licensed dealers and private parties. Currently, background checks are not mandated for private gun sales–and that includes sales at gun shows. Republican candidate Mike Huckabee has been making the media rounds on the subject, stating that gun control would have done nothing to keep guns out of the hands of the Oregon shooter.
A chart of 10 countries shows there were 38 rampage shooting incidents in the United States between 2009 and 2013. Statistically, the U.S. was much lower in incidents and deaths than other countries with more restrictive gun laws when each country’s population numbers were included. </strong><h5></p>