What did Obama say about guns?

Kris Stewart,
Managing Editor

It’s President Obama’s last year in office. He kicked off his final lap of the political race, and the New Year, with a press conference where he announced executive actions intended to reduce gun violence.

Tuesday morning, Obama opened the early part of the address with statistics that claimed 30,000 Americans fell victim to gun violence due to suicides, domestic violence, gang shootouts and accidents.

CNN reports that to date, Obama has addressed the nation in regards to gun violence 15 times during his presidency. The foundation of the speech was four steps that Obama said should reduce gun violence in the U.S.

Gun sellers must get a license and conduct background checks. As it stands now, there are ways to purchase guns without a background check depending on where or how you purchase the gun. People who purchase guns online, for example, aren’t subjected to the same scrutiny as someone who walks into a gun store. This will be an attempt to close the “gun show loophole” a term politicians have thrown around since gun violence incidents have escalated. Sellers who don’t comply with these new rules will be subjected to criminal prosecutions.

Enforce gun safety laws already in effect by adding 200 ATF agents and investigators. In addition, firearms dealers must report lost or stolen guns on a “timely basis.” They will also work to increase protection for victims of domestic abuse from gun violence.

Increase support for people who suffer from mental disease and ensure that federal mental health records are also submitted to the background check system. “And for those in Congress who so often rush to blame mental illness for mass shootings as a way of avoiding actions on guns, here’s your chance to support these efforts,” Obama commented.

Boost gun safety technology. Obama announced that in 2013, more than 500 people lost their lives to gun accidents, which included 30 children under five years old. “In the greatest, most technologically advanced nation on Earth, there is no reason for this,” stated Obama. He continued to express that guns need to get tech savvy and used examples like creating a “find my gun” app similar to Apple’s “find my iPhone” app to decrease firearms getting into the wrong hands.

According to an analysis by Vocative, in the four days before Obama’s press conference, 147 people were killed by guns in the U.S. To get these findings, Vocative tallied shootings by searching Google for all mentions of gun-related deaths and cross referenced them with the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit organization that provides free online public access to information regarding gun-related violence in the U.S.

At least 147 people were killed using guns in the first four days of 2016At least 147 people were killed using guns in the first four days of 20162016_01_05-GunVictims-KK.r31099146581

Towards the end of the speech, Obama broke his political exterior to display a human response while talking about the Newtown massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As tears streamed down his face, he commented, “Every time I think about those kids it gets me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.”