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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/15/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

President has range of options available to respond to Sandy Hook tragedy

Working with a list of recommendations presented by Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to unveil a list of gun control proposals in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. Getting the proposals approved through a bitterly divided Congress remains to be seen, and there is always the chance the president will use his "executive privilege" to get them into law. New York Times columnists Michael Shear and Jennifer Steinhauer have weighed in on what the president may suggest - or do.

President Obama says that he can enact certain legislation without the approval of Congress. 'I'm confident that there are some steps that we can take that don't require legislation and that are within my authority as President,' Obama said

President Obama says that he can enact certain legislation without the approval of Congress. "I'm confident that there are some steps that we can take that don't require legislation and that are within my authority as President," Obama said

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/15/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: President Obama, gun control, New York Times, background checks


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Lawmakers and other officials said that the president could use a public event as soon as Wednesday to signal his intention to engage in the biggest Congressional fight over guns in nearly two decades, focusing on the heightened background checks and including efforts to ban assault weapons and their high-capacity clips," Shear and Steinhauer write. "Mr. Obama will also promise to act on his own to reduce gun violence wherever possible.
  
Obama says that he can enact certain legislation without the approval of Congress. "I'm confident that there are some steps that we can take that don't require legislation and that are within my authority as President," Obama said during a news conference at the White House. "And where you get a step that has the opportunity to reduce the possibility of gun violence then I want to go ahead and take it."

What would some of these unilateral actions that the president may take?   
According to Steinhauer and shear, "Actions the president could take on his own are likely to include imposing new limits on guns imported from overseas, compelling federal agencies to improve sharing of mental health records and directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct research on gun violence, according to those briefed on the effort.

"White House aides believe Mr. Obama can also ratchet up enforcement of existing laws, including tougher prosecution of people who lie on their background checks.

Obama told journalists that he remained unsure if all the proposals could clear the House and Senate, but he vowed to press ahead with measures he believes will make a difference.

"Will all of them get through this Congress? I don't know. But what's uppermost in my mind is making sure that I'm honest with the American people and with members of Congress about what I think will work," Mr. Obama said. "If there is a step we can take that will save even one child from what happened in Newtown, we should take that step."

A Washington Post/ABC News poll found that most Americans were supportive of tougher gun control measures following the shooting rampage at the Newtown, Connecticut slayings last month that killed 26 people, including 20 children.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they would favor a nationwide ban on assault weapons, and 51 percent said they would support a ban on semi-automatic handguns. Nearly two-thirds of those polled said they backed a nationwide ban on high-capacity magazines that contain 10 or more bullets.

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