Written by Jada Dukes, Staff Writer
“We maybe can’t save everybody, but we can save some!”
This is a powerful statement made by President Obama during his immense speech regarding gun laws on Jan. 5, 2016.
We are only a few days into the New Year and our president has made it very clear that he is taking his last year of presidency by storm. One thing that the POTUS is taking extremely serious this year is gun laws.
Since the subject of gun laws has continued to be a hugely problematic and unresolved issue in 2015, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that our president is still pressing the issue. Just a few days ago, Obama gave a very powerful and emotional speech addressing the issue of gun laws in which he unveiled his plan to control gun violence. It goes without saying that Obama’s speech was met with backlash from some of his more conservative counterparts, although his plan seemed more than reasonable.
During his speech, Obama strikes a irrefutable argument against republican members of the senate who voted against the “common sense compromise bill” created by Vice President Joe Biden and two United States senators that would essentially force everyone who purchases a gun to be subject to a background check.
Obama then questions how this became such a “partisan issue,” being that 90 percent of Americans agreed with the compromise bill and 90 percent of democrats in the senate voted, which ultimately failed because 90 of republicans in the senate voted against it. The president then begins to unveil his new gun laws which much like the compromise bill put a lot of focus on background checking anyone wanting to purchase a gun, and cracking down on illegal gun trafficking.
The most notable out of these laws are the ones that have to do with mental health, which includes a 500 million dollar investment to increase access to mental health care that will increase service capacity.
Republicans and democrats agree that mental health is a huge issue amongst Americans, since the counterargument to gun control is that “guns don’t people, people kill people.” This alludes to the problem of mental health, which couldn’t be truer. Millions of deaths in the past year could have been prevented had there been more focus placed on mental health in America.
With that being said, just focusing on mental health will not be enough to resolve the issue of gun violence. There are millions of American suffering from mental illness that are not receiving any form of help; it will be a few years before every single American with a mental illness is helped. In the meantime, there needs to be some sort of immediate action set forth to reduce the amount of deaths caused by gun violence.
Background checks allow the government to monitor the sale of firearms and allow it to ensure that guns do not get into the hands of criminals. Background checks should pose no threat to any law-abiding American citizen; this proposal is nothing but “common sense,” as Obama would say.