Janeece Woodson, Staff Writer
There are some who cannot wait for President Obama to leave the White House. They are ecstatic at the thought of unraveling eight years of left-wing policies and unseating the officials who have vowed to carry on his legacy. One of the president’s latest ordinances, a series of changes that will tighten the business of buying and selling guns, has only increased the anticipation for those who fear that the president is out to minimize basic American rights. Yet what these groups do not realize is that Obama’s executive order on gun control is a victory for both sides.
One of the most important features of the mandate is that online and private vendors must complete background checks on potential customers. If one of these checks raises a red flag, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will be notified. To streamline the background check process, and to make it easier to swallow for gun show dealers, the FBI will hire hundreds of personnel and revamp the background-check process.
Another change also addresses the inexplicable black hole into which hundreds of firearms fall every year. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) will be growing vastly in the next few years. Funding in the amount of four million dollars will go toward tracking the movement of firearms in the U.S., according to a White House bulletin. The bureau will also look into funding for smart-gun technology, to certify that every gun crime has an identifiable (and thus punishable) perpetrator, and to erase the possibility of stolen firearms or accidental shootings. Finally, the order includes a funding decision of half a million dollars to increase the availability and effectiveness of mental healthcare resources.
Obama’s gun control orders are less about personal freedom, and more about closing up gaping holes in the system that must be addressed before such a debate about personal freedom is even possible. A persisting argument from the conservative side of the issue is that “a few bad apples” have caused a lockdown on gun rights, when owning a gun should be a basic citizen’s right, regardless of the actions of these few. If this were the case, then would not the solution to solidify the majority’s firearm freedom be to weed out those “bad apples?”
Every time a mass shooting hits big in the media, or a child accidentally shoots him or herself, conservative gun vendors must have an internal ethical debate. Some might feel that these new ordinances are just keeping the honest people honest. Others may believe that they cannot be held responsible for the actions of others. Nonetheless, they all must recognize the role they play in this national policy shift. By embracing the closing of a decades-old loophole and endorsing the programs that will ensure responsible gun ownership, they are making an investment into their own line of business down the road.
Hypothetically, it is true that if a person wants a gun badly enough, they could obtain it even with Obama’s ordinances. But a denial from a private vendor could slow down that individual long enough for the FBI to take notice. If gun violence were a minimized concern instead of an epidemic, the right to bear arms would not be threatened. This executive order, obviously, cannot completely eradicate gun violence, but it is laying a foundation for a future where every weapon in the country is accounted for. Imagine a country with a complete and detailed database of smart guns, weapons that can only be fired by the person with the fingerprints that are associated with it. We may not be there yet, but a sound idea cannot be accomplished overnight.