Austinities react to Obama's gun violence package


by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and photojournalist JOHN GUSKY

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

Posted on January 16, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 16 at 11:24 PM

AUSTIN -- President Barack Obama addressed the nation Wednesday with a gun control plan he says will protect children and the community.

Obama signed 23 executive orders, which don't need congressional approval.

Some of the legislation Obama wants Congress to act on include, mandatory background checks for all gun sales and a re-reinstatement on the ban of some assault-style weapons.

"If there is even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try," Obama said.

KVUE saw the speech playing on the big screen at Mr. Tramps Sports Pub and Cafe. It wasn't a packed house at 11:00 a.m., but owner Alfredo Cedrone who doesn't own a gun said he doesn't think new laws would have prevented the elementary school shooting at Newtown.

"Regardless of how strict you get on those, the people who want to obtain guns illegally are going to obtain them illegally," Cedrone said.

At McBride's Guns, gun owners said they don't think laws will stop criminals.

"The media, I think, has instilled enough fear into a lot of people that makes a lot of people think maybe there should be this huge, dramatic change. But I don't think it's going to make a bit of difference," Sean Galle said.

Others around Austin say something needs to be done.

"There needs to be control. You get  a car, you get a license. For guns you need some sort of background check and license," Farshad Shahsavary said.

"It's time for Congress to require a universal background check for anyone trying to buy a gun," Obama said in his remarks.

Obama said too many guns are still being sold without a background check. He wants to strengthen that system, plus remove some barriers from the health field that may prevent some information from being reported.

"We will make sure medical health professionals know their options for reporting threats of violence," he said.

One of the president's 23 executive orders addresses the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which he says may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

Another order clarifies that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors from asking their patients about guns in their homes.

KVUE found people trying to understand the ramifications of those orders, with some saying they don't think doctors should reveal certain information.

Another order helps schools hire more resource officers, and develop emergency preparedness plans.

Obama also asked Congress to restore a ban on military style assault weapons and he wants a ten round limit for magazines.

The president said he also wants to give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime.



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