On Tuesday President Obama used his State of The Union address to call on politicians on both sides of the aisle to get work done and to work towards compromise on a host of issues from the economy to immigration. The most emotional moment of last night's address came when Obama asked for an up-or-down vote on gun legislation. This morning Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), a democrat from Maryland joins “Starting Point” to provide reaction to the president’s speech.
Van Hollen says when it comes to Obama’s proposals for a package of measures intended to reduce gun violence, “the president’s right.” He adds that the president’s proposals are saying, “Let’s see if you have a criminal record, let’s see if you have mental stability before you have a gun and at the very least lets have a vote on it.”
The congressman says, “If speaker Boehner and others want to vote no go ahead and do it but do it in the light of day. Don’t try and hide from the American people.”
Here in America we already have a system in place to see if you have a criminal record. Its simple, felons cannot own weapons legally. The issue is not weapons but people who use them for misaligned and malicious purposes. Guns don't kill, people do. When someone is beaten to death with a baseball bat we do not ban them, when someone is stabbed and sliced with box cutters and knives, we do not ban them. So I ask why do we try to ban guns based on incidents that people who were clearly not mentally sound? I personally own 6 guns, I've had them passed down to me by my family and not a single one of them have ever killed a person. The issue is not guns, but the lack of safety and knowledge about guns by the general public. Where have the days of old where students would go and hunt before school, then come to school with rifles and shotguns still hanging in their gun rack on the back glass gone? The days when the principal and the students would compare their guns and nothing was wrong, where have the days of firearm safety as a CLASS gone? We cannot knee jerk to isolated incidents and suffer as a whole due to the actions of few. The Virginia Tech shooter used two Semi-Automatic Handguns to kill his victims, and he used smaller clips and a smaller weapon, and had nearly the same effect as the Sandy Hooke shooter did. Caliber and magazine capacity are variables just as anything else is, banning calibers and clips isn't the route to follow. Education and awareness is. I will close with a quote by a infamous man, Adolf Hitler. He stated in 1943 "One cannot invade America, due to the fact that behind every blade of grass, there will be an armed citizen". Now if the very man who invaded SOVIET RUSSIA was afraid to invade mainland America, then guns obviously play a role in american culture and protection. No matter caliber and capacity.
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