"This time, the words need to lead to action," the president said in an Associated Press story.
The president also called on Congress to reinstate an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and to pass legislation that would close the gun show "loophole," which allows people to purchase firearms from private dealers without a background check. He also wants Congress to pursue the possibility of limiting high-capacity ammunition clips.
"The fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing," Obama said. "The fact that we can't prevent every act of violence doesn't mean we can't steadily reduce the violence."
State Rep. Eric Watson, District 22, said he disagrees with the push from the White House to restrict law abiding citizens’ right to own firearms.
“The president did not mention in his speech over the weekend and will not mention the situation at Fort Hood, Texas, which killed 13 people and wounded 29 by a federal employee with a gun,” he said. “Fort Hood is a gun control facility. It’s a military base and only officers are allowed to carry guns.”
U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a psychiatrist, is charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder for the Nov. 5, 2009, massacre.
“Taking guns away from citizens just doesn’t work and that’s a proven point right there because all military bases have strict gun control laws,” he said. “We’ve got to stand up for our citizens. To remedy violence with guns, we have got to enforce the letter of the law. We need to encourage the death penalty for the misuse of firearms and taking someone else’s life.”
He said the number of deaths attributed to firearms is low compared to tobacco use that kills more than a half-million people every year; medical errors accounted for another 100,000; DUI and alcohol contributed to 107,000 and firearms 11,493.
“Law enforcement will never beat the war on drugs. Criminals will always be able to get it — it’s the same way if the government took away guns, criminals will take over the United States. Criminals will be in charge,” Watson said. “People like President Obama don’t have to worry about guns because they have automatic weapons to protect him and his family, but the law-abiding citizen would have no protection.”
Watson said 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who went on the shooting rampage in Newtown, Conn., stole the weapons from his mother.
“If a criminal, or a madman wants to kill an innocent person, he is going to find a way with or without a gun,” he said. “With guns, we are citizens. Without guns, we are subjects.”
He said the bottom line is that laws and penalties should be upheld and enforced.
“We’ve got to quit working out deals with these criminals,” he said.