Will POTUS Op-Ed on Gun Violence Reopen Gun Debate?

Mar 13, 2011 2:43pm

ABC News' Tahman Bradley Reports:

In an op-ed penned for the Arizona Daily Star, President Obama lays out where he thinks the discussion on gun laws should go.  In raising the issues of guns, it appears Obama is ready to reopen one of the country’s most volatile political issues.

The president writes that since January's tragic shooting in Tucson another 2,000 Americans have been lost to gun violence.

"Every single day, America is robbed of more futures. It has awful consequences for our society. And as a society, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to put a stop to it," Obama writes.

He explains his belief in the Second Amendment but says "common sense" can unite Americans behind meaningful gun reform laws. 

"I'm willing to bet they don't think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas," Obama explains.     

The main idea the president pushes in the op-ed is for a national instant criminal background check system that rewards states that provide the best data.  He also suggests developing an "instant, accurate, comprehensive and consistent system" for background checks to sellers.

"Clearly, there's more we can do to prevent gun violence," writes Obama. "But I want this to at least be the beginning of a new discussion on how we can keep America safe for all our people."

Last year, The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave Obama an "F", saying the president has a record of "back-pedaling" on gun control issues. The organization endorsed the Obama back in 2008, but gun control advocates plead that in his first year in office, Obama signed two gun measures – attached to larger pieces of legislation  — which softened gun control.  The laws allow people to carry guns in National Parks and on Amtrak trains.

Even though his January State of the Union speech came only days after Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others were shot, President Obama did not shed light on how he thinks gun laws should change in the wake of tragedy. At the time the White House said the president wanted to discuss gun reform soon.

Perhaps that time is now.

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