President Barack Obama have just announced what many call as fairly small changes in terms of gun control. Do you think he will try to push for more (should he try to push for more?) as his mandate is slowly ending and gun control will probably be also a visible topic in presidential campaign? Read few comments.
Ryan King, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Ohio State University
There is very little he can do beyond the small changes announced yesterday, and in my opinion it would be a waste of his time to try for more. To make any serious changes to the nation’s gun policies would require legislation, which means a vote from both chambers of Congress. Right now both the House and Senate are controlled by Republicans, and they would never agree to any gun control measure. As such, the President’s options are limited.
Luis Salinas, Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Houston University
I was not surprised with the hysterical response from the extreme right nor the increase in gun sales that occurred.
I was very surprised that Bill O’Rilley, right wing media icon, came out saying that these were reasonable measured controls and called for the NRA to accept them. His quote was “On the other side, the NRA and gun owners should be reasonable. The FBI should background check anyone buying a firearm in the USA – that just makes sense. If you are paranoid and believe the government is stockpiling information so they can come to your house and take your guns, that’s your problem.”
We need to keep in mind that overall the extreme right wing tends to be narcissist and tends to make no compromises. So no matter what Obama proposes, they will have a problem.
While as a sociologist I see the empirical relation between the number of guns and the number of killings in the USA, too many people do not. Sadly I do not think Obama could do too much more politically!
Adam Winkler, Professor of Law, UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles)
President Obama is unlikely to propose many additional gun control laws. There is no chance Congress will pass new gun legislation.He can make minor changes through executive action, but he can’t fundamentally change the law. This week’s announced proposals are relatively minor but there was not much more he can do. The president is likely to continue to use his “bully pulpit” to talk about gun control and the need to do more.
Danny Hayes, Associate Professor of Political Science, George Washington University
What President Obama can do on guns without the help of Congress is limited. And since there’s virtually no chance that Congress in the next year will pass any kind of gun legislation that the president would support, the odds of further significant action are pretty low, I think.
Richard Murray, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Houston
I think he had his folks in the Justice Department and White House thoroughly search for all the feasible things he could put in this package so I do not look for anything further over the remaining months of Mr. Obama’s presidency.
Eugene Volokh, Professor of Law, UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles)
Hard question to answer, since it’s a difficult political judgment. I doubt that President Obama would push for much more; if he had wanted to do more, he probably would have made it part of this proposal. But I can’t be sure.
President’s initiative is VERY modest. I do not expect more. And Congress definitely will not act before election.