President Barack Obama addressed in his town hall address in Fairfax, Virginia the “imaginary fiction” that his executive action on strict gun control, focusing on stronger background checks would make it hard for perfectly law abiding citizens of the U.S. to purchase a firearm.
“The way it is described, is that we are trying to take away everybody’s guns… If you listen to the rhetoric, it is so over-the-top, it is so overheated.” He says of his opposers, especially those in the GOP Republican presidential candidate who came forward in strict opposition before even hearing his address.
Obama in his initial address came forward to say he would never deny rights written in the constitution, be it the right to bare arms and of course the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. His executive action, he says, ensures that those last three rights will not be stripped away from victims if he makes stricter legislature of the right to bare arms.
He began the town hall with many statements ensuring that he is in no way this big bad gun thief that his opposition is making him out to be. He told Anderson Cooper that he has invited the NRA, who refused to take part in the town hall meeting that he and his administration has multiple times invited them to The White House to discuss this issue. He said he is in no way a part of “some imaginary fiction in which Obama is trying to take away your guns.”
He faced a few disconcerting questions from victims of violent acts. Victims like the wife of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle, Taya Kyle, who opposes stricter gun laws despite her own husband having been shot and killed. He addressed Kimberly Corban’s concerns over her desire to “carry a gun wherever [her] and [her] family are” and Obama making it harder for her to do so, saying “Nothing we have proposed prevents you, or would make it harder for you to purchase a firearm.” Nor, he said, would anything proposed effect the state’s rights to choose their own laws on open or concealed carry.
The rhetoric that circulates the idea that owning a gun instantly makes you safer was concerning when these questions were asked. Obama cleared the air, saying that owning a gun in your home requires extensive training if you were ever being assaulted. He tried to assure the safety of those with this concern by saying, “All of us can agree that it makes sense to do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of people who would do others harm, or themselves harm,” he said. That is the best first defense, in Obama’s opinion and the basis of his executive action proposal. That if guns are harder for harmful Americans to obtain, “we might be able to save a whole bunch of families from the grief that some of the people in this audience have had to go through.”