President Barack Obama discussed gun control during his address to the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Chicago on Oct. 27. The president assured police chiefs that while he is pushing for more expansive gun laws, he has no intention of taking away U.S. citizens’ Second Amendment rights (video below).
Following the Oregon Umpqua Community College massacre on Oct. 1, the Obama administration has been calling for more comprehensive gun laws to try to curb the rate of mass shootings. The president has been accused of trying to take away all American citizens’ guns by prominent Republicans and National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre, The Hill reports.
“You know, the president is thinking about signing an executive order where he wants to take your guns away,” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump claimed at a campaign rally in South Carolina, according to The Hill.
Obama spoke to a congregation of police chiefs about the current tension between law enforcement and communities, as well as his proposals for new gun legislation.
"Too often, law enforcement gets scapegoated for the broader failures of our society and criminal justice system," the president said. “I know that you do your jobs with distinction no matter the challenges you face … but we can't expect you to contain and control problems that the rest of us aren't willing to face or do anything about.”
The president listed the current state of education, the overpopulation of prisons, lack of job opportunity and programs to address drug addiction as factors that make enforcing the law more difficult. He also says that there is too little gun regulation, according to NPR.
“Please do not believe this notion that somehow I’m out to take everyone’s guns away,” said Obama. “Every time a mass shootings happens, one of the saddest ironies is suddenly the purchase of guns and ammunition jumps up because folks scared into thinking that, ‘Obama’s gonna use this as an excuse to take away our Second Amendment rights.' Nobody’s doing that.”
The president continued that his proposals are not about taking guns away, but making sure they don’t fall into the wrong hands.
"We’re talking about common-sense measures to make [sure] criminals don’t get them, to make sure background checks work, to make sure that we’re protecting ourselves,” says the president.
“Fewer gun safety laws don’t mean more freedom, they mean more danger.”