Last week, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “The president’s goal is to look for opportunities to act administratively, unilaterally using his executive authority to try to make our communities safer.”
This followed a question and answer session, where President Barack Obama said executive action isn’t enough.
“If public opinion does not demand change in Congress, it will not change,” Obama said. “We don’t have enough tools right now to make as big a dent as we need to.”
“Our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no advanced, developed country that would put up with this,” Obama lamented. “And it happens now once a week. And it’s a one-day story. There’s no place else like this.”
While most of the Tumblr questions concerned the president’s student loan programs, and higher education in general, Obama turned emotional when one user asked about school shootings.
His “biggest frustration” as president, Obama claimed, has been that “this society has not been willing to take some basic steps” to keep guns away from people who “can do just unbelievable damage.” He specifically stated the U.S. should be working towards keeping guns out of the hands of mentally unstable people.
The president also criticized Congress again for blocking a proposal to expand background checks for gun buyers, saying too many lawmakers are “terrified” of the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups. Opponents of various gun control proposals said they would be ineffective, and some threaten Second Amendment ownership rights.
They also said shootings are a mental health issue, an argument that Obama disputed.
“The United States does not have a monopoly on crazy people,” Obama said. “Now it’s hard to get even the most minor legislation passed and we should be ashamed.”
So what kind of legislative action would the president like to see?
“A couple of decades ago Australia had a mass shooting similar to Columbine or Newtown, and Australia just said, ‘Well, that’s it. We’re not doing — we’re not seeing that again,’ and basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws,” Obama stated.
To see the types of edicts Obama means to impose if he can get away with it, one need only look at gun laws in Australia, compiled by GunPolicy.org, which, while decidedly anti-gun, nonetheless provides instructive and useful compilations of gun laws from around the globe.
“The regulation of guns in Australia is categorized as restrictive,” the summary reads. “In Australia, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law.”
“In Australia, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic and semi-automatic firearms, self-loading and pump action shotguns, handguns with a caliber in excess of .38 in with only narrow exemptions, semi-automatic handguns with a barrel length less than 120mm, and revolvers with a barrel length less than 100mm,” the site advises.
“In Australia, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited, with only narrow exceptions for permanently inoperable collector’s, display, or museum guns…” the site continues. “(P)rivate possession of semi-automatic assault weapons and their lookalikes is prohibited in all but exceptional circumstances…(P)rivate possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is only permitted subject to stringent condition.”
Licenses are also required to own firearms and ammunition, and a “genuine reason” must be approved to get a license. Both open carry and concealed carry “in a public place is prohibited without genuine reason. In law, personal protection is not a genuine reason.”
The issuance of a license is also contingent on such things as “third party character references,” reapplication and requalification, limits on the number guns and ammunition, and of course, government registration. The reasons for refusing a license would include “reliable evidence of a mental or physical condition which would render the applicant unsuitable for owning, possessing or using a firearm.”
This is what Obama and other Progressives would like to impose on the U.S.