|Updated: 1/16 4:40 pm
||Published: 1/16 4:30 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR – Arkansas Republican lawmakers were quick to respond to President Obama’s plan to prevent the nation’s children from being shot to death at school.
Spurred by the Newton massacre, Obama unveiled a $500 million plan, with 23 executive orders. They include providing incentives for schools to hire resource officers and reviewing safety standards for gun locks and safes. The president also wants Congress to pass a universal background check for every gun sale, get tough on people who buy guns intending on selling them to criminals, and ban military-style assault weapons as well as ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
Representative Tim Griffin says the president’s focus on restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens with “tried-and-failed” 2nd Amendment policies is “poll-tested but counterproductive.”
Representative Steve Womack says it should be Congress, not executive orders, that should look for way to protect the people that are in keeping with constitutional rights.
Senator Bozeman thinks the solution lies not in new laws, but stricter enforcement of laws already on the books.
The president challenged lawmakers in his address Wednesday. "What's more important? Doing whatever it takes to get an ‘A’ grade from the gun lobby that funds their campaigns, or giving parents some peace of mind when they drop their child off for first grade?"
Statement from Tim Griffin:
Like most Arkansans, I’m concerned about our nation’s treatment of mental illness, our increasingly crude and violent culture, and a criminal justice system that allows repeat offenders to roam the streets. While some of President Obama’s proposals address these issues, his focus on restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens with tried-and-failed, anti-Second Amendment policies is poll-tested but counterproductive. I am the father of two young children, and I am interested in solutions to curb the violence that plagues America, but I’m not interested in feel-good legislation that leaves our children no safer and Americans less free. The so-called ‘Assault Weapons Ban’ did not stop the Columbine tragedy, and no gun control proposal I’ve seen could have made the deranged Connecticut murderer obey the law when he stole firearms and committed his unspeakable rampage.
Statement from John Boozman:
President Obama’s statements today touched on some areas of common ground, but ultimately his plans rely too strongly on the failed gun-control ideas of the past. While he is likely to find a broad base of support for some of his mental health directives and for providing incentives to hire school resource officers, his push for Congress to bring back the assault weapons ban and to limit ammunition is misguided. New laws are not the answer. Stricter enforcement of the laws on the books is where we need to start.
There is plenty of evidence, both in our country and elsewhere, that proves simply disarming law abiding citizens does not help reduce violent crime. Firearms are the tools, not the cause. If we are serious about reducing gun crimes, we need to get to the root cause which includes addressing mental health issues in our country. That is where we need to focus on finding a solution.
Statement from Steve Womack:
As President Obama said today, there is no set of laws – nor a piece of legislation – that will prevent every tragedy. Limiting Second Amendment rights for law-abiding citizens is not the appropriate reaction to senseless acts of violence. Congress – rather than the President through Executive Orders – should instead look for ways to protect the people that are in keeping with our constitutional rights.