President Obama’s Proposals

President Obama has proposed that Congress close the private sale loophole, ban high capacity magazines, and ban military style assault weapons. The reasons for closing the private sale loophole seem obvious. Why make it easy for criminals to purchase a gun at a gun show or negotiate a gun sale online but make them pass a background check when buying from a licensed dealer? Why wouldn’t Congress want to close such a loophole if they truly are against gun trafficking?  It would be like allowing people to purchasing prescription drugs at a “drug show” without any proof a prescription.  Does Congress have the moral courage to stand up to the gun lobby?  The benefits of a ban on high capacity magazines also seem obvious.  Jared Lee Loughner was stopped when he had emptied his thirty round magazine and was attempting to reload. If he had had been stopped after emptying a ten round magazine there likely would have less victims. An average man can cover a distance of about twenty-one feet in 1.5 seconds so a lot can happen during the few seconds it takes a person to reload. The shooter could be tackled and disarmed as happened in Loughner’s case. John Hinckley fired all six shots in his revolver in less than two seconds when attempting to assassinate President Reagan. If he had had a gun with a thirty round magazine there likely would have been a lot more people killed and injured. A ban on assault weapons is probably the most controversial proposal. Some claim that these weapons are only cosmetically different from other semiautomatic weapons. Others point out that such features as pistol grips (which allow the shooter to stabilize the weapon during continuous fire) and barrel shrouds (which protect the shooter from a heated barrel due to repeated fire) make these weapons more dangerous.