President Barack Obama has called on lawmakers to propose tighter gun control laws that would keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals.
In a March 13 op-ed for the Arizona Daily Star, the President said that while most gun owners are responsible individuals, there should be more comprehensive background checks to ensure that criminals and unstable Americans are not purchasing deadly weapons. He referenced the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson, Ariz., in which six people were killed and 13 were wounded, as well as the Columbine and Virginia Tech massacres.
Obama said that weak background checks lead to "awful consequences," and it is the responsibility of lawmakers and concerned citizens to step forward and advocate for stricter policies. To reaffirm his support for the 2nd Amendment, the President said that his administration has expanded the rights of gun owners, allowing them to carry their firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges.
A March 14 editorial in New York magazine criticized Obama for offering his opinion far too late in the gun control debate.
"He admits that, while 'there's more we can do to prevent gun violence,' he's merely hoping to start 'a new discussion on how we can keep America safe for all our people,'" the editorial states. "Except, we were having this discussion in January, and Obama sat it out, despite apparently not having anything particularly controversial to say."