Barack Obama has started 2016 with a bang. In his first weekly address to the nation in the new year, Obama said he was ready to roll up his sleeves and take on the largely conservative Congress in a ‘gun-battle’. The problem of greater control on guns is one that has plagued the U.S for a long time and the President says he’s prepared to take unilateral action on the issue if he does not get support from lawmakers who have failed to act.
President Obama said he had received so many letters from American parents, teachers and children, pleading with him to act, and he could no longer “sit around and do nothing” while violent acts by irresponsible gun-owners bring grief to so many families across the country.
The U.S Attorney General, Loretta Lynch will be conducting discussions with the president about ways in which he can exercise and implement his executive authority to address the issue.
Obama has stated before that not being able to impose ‘common-sense gun laws’ in his country was one of his greatest frustrations as president.
A joint Democratic-Republican bill to ban assault weapons and expand background checks on buyers was introduced in Congress in 2013, following a shooting in a Connecticut school in which 20 children and six adults were killed, but it failed to get the 60 votes needed to make it into law.
Even now, it’s not going to be smooth sailing for Obama. Republicans and gun-supporters are already in a defiant mood. The ‘open-carry law’ in Texas has allowed residents with permits to display handguns in holsters on their hips, to show that they are armed. Texas police chief warned the president that he could face a ‘revolution’ if he tries to ‘disarm Americans’.
In the face of such aggressive opposition, if Barack Obama does manage to win this fight, victory will be sweet indeed, and many Americans will feel safe from the menace of gun-related violence.