Obama set to announce gun control plans Wednesday

A bundle of gun control measures will be presented today by President Barack Obama following recommendations from Vice President Joe Biden in response to last month's shooting massacre.

Obama is expected to reveal a total of 19 separate executive actions he will initiate on his own and will push for an assault weapons ban and increased gun regulations.

According to an article in the Detroit Free Press, some of the other main actions that Obama will back include limiting the size of the ammunition clips, setting new limits on guns imported from overseas, compelling federal agencies to improve the sharing of mental health records and enforcing tougher prosecutions for people who lie on background checks.

Obama and Biden will be joined by children who wrote letters after the Dec. 14 shooting tragedy, which killed 20 students and six adults at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, according to CNN.

But these proposals do not come without some opposition. Opponents, led by the National Rifle Association, have reportedly pledged a political battle due to what they call a violation of the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms.

CMU Police Chief Bill Yeagley said the proposals won't have an immediate effect locally.

“I think it takes awhile for the process to work in Washington,” Yeagley said. “With having to work it through the democratic process, it will never be a quick thing.”

For the last three years, CMU Police has been ramping up its security and utilizing other police departments in the area to better provide student safety.

All the law enforcement agencies in Mount Pleasant met and agreed it was time to tweak their systems again, Yeagley said.

“To say we are going to keep every school 100-percent safe, in my mind, that is almost impossible to do,” Yeagley admitted. “However, I do believe there (are) a lot of things we can do to help minimize violence and people getting injured.”

While Yeagley said gun legislation should be reviewed, he is still optimistic Congress will find a comprehensive solution to violence.

“In my 33 years of experience, these types of issues are never solved by one approach,” Yeagley said. “You have to come at it with a variety of angles.”

Obama's proposals could lead to the most significant move on guns in the past two decades, with a ban on assault weapons being the biggest reform.

Former President Bill Clinton pushed a ban in 1994 on specific types of semi-automatic weapons, which was met with heavy opposition from the National Rifle Association and other gun lobbyists. The ban expired 10 years later and remains the last time a ban was passed affecting weaponry on a major scale.

K.P. Wood, owner of the Central Michigan Gunsmithing, 2160 E. Remus Road, remembers the ban in the '90s.

“People don’t pass laws to correct things; they do it to get re-elected,” Wood said.

Wood expects to see some type of assault weapons ban but does not know if it will do any good.

Students have begun to realize this issue will have a major effect on Michigan, with its history in not only hunting but with the Michigan Militia.

Hartland sophomore Michael Bair has been hunting for nearly a decade and does not think sales should be monitored.

“I think gun control laws aren’t based on the gun, but the way people use them,” he said. “In the end, the people who want to get guns will find them.”

Dearborn sophomore Jenna Brackett supports an assault weapons ban, saying no one needs an assault weapon for hunting.

“There’s no reason for anyone to own an assault rifle,” she said. “Plus, it would be nice to have stricter background checks in case someone has any mental health issues.”


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