Invoking the painful memory of the Newtown, Conn., massacre, President Barack Obama called today for the most sweeping gun control overhaul in years.
The Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists and gun lobbyists across the U.S. will not be pleased, but Obama said he'll "put everything I’ve got into this."
Among the actions he called on Congress to pass:
- Background checks for every would-be buyer
- Bans on military-style rifles, or assault weapons
- Bans on ammunition clips that hold more than 10 bullets
Some of his proposals are sure to run headlong into fierce opposition from Republicans and some Democrats in Congress, not to mention the powerful NRA.
But Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden, promised an audience that included relatives of Sandy Hook elementary school victims, vowed to fight.
"If there’s even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try," the President said in a speech.
"And I’m going to do my part."
Obama said he's a believer in the Second Amendment and denounced those who will cast his "common-sense" approach as "a tyrannical, all-out assault on liberty."
“This will not happen unless the American people demand it," he said, acknowledging that it will take support from responsible gun owners across the land.
"That’s what it’s going to take."
“I have no illusions about what we’re up against,” Joe Biden said in his own introductory remarks. But "the world has changed, and it’s demanding action."
Obama isn’t sending “specific legislative language” to Congress, instead following his usual blueprint of laying out principles and letting lawmakers craft a bill.
Obama is also set to to take executive action - something that is sure to infuriate Alex Jones and the like - on 23 items that do not require Congress' approval.
Among the executive orders: Making federal agencies report more information to the federal background check system, and ordering the CDC to research gun violence.
Others are much smaller scale: He will boost anti-bullying campaigns in schools, and "clarify" that ObamaCare "does not prohibit doctors asking patients about guns."
A spokesman for Republican House Speaker John Boehner said only that the "House committees of jurisdiction will review these recommendations."
"And if the Senate passes a bill, we will also take a look at that."
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) often cited as a presidential contender in 2016, said no gun control measures proposed by Obama would have prevented Sandy Hook.
"President Obama is targeting the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens instead of seriously addressing the real underlying causes of such violence,” Rubio charged.
What do you think? In the wake of Newtown and many similar tragedies, is it finally time for gun control measures like Obama is proposing?