Rep. Carolyn McCarthy joined President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, congressional colleagues and victims from across the country at the White House Wednesday for the president announcement of a holistic range of efforts to reduce gun violence.
President Obama announced 23 executive actions to reduce gun violence, including reforms to the county's mental health and education systems, and expressed support for three measures that are part of legislation being sponsored by Rep. McCarthy: universal background checks, a ban on high-capacity assault magazines, and greater restrictions on assault weapons.
Rep. McCarthy, a Democrat who represents New York's fourth Congressional district, issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s announcement:
“Today we have a new path to reducing gun violence thanks to the leadership of President Obama. The president is putting a substantial amount of weight behind the effort to reduce gun violence, and this will save lives in our country. He’s taking a holistic approach to the problem, looking at not just the most dangerous weapons, but also at mental health and education."
McCarthy went on to say that “for the first time in almost 20 years, we have a president showing very strong leadership on the need to reduce gun violence, including the need for better restrictions on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, the need for a better background check system, and the need to crack down on illegal gun trafficking. The president has acted, and now it’s Congress’s turn to act too. Congress must not stand idly by while innocent Americans are killed on a daily basis for no reason."
As the sponsor of bills to ban high-capacity magazines and improve the nation's background check system, and soon a new assault weapons ban, McCarthy said she is excited to work with the president, her colleagues and the American people on these measures.
“It’s great to have the president’s support because that’s going to make a huge difference ... But it’s not just him," she stated. "There’s an unprecedented level of support for better and more effective gun safety laws in our country than ever before. There’s no question that after the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school, this time is different. We are hearing from more people than we've ever heard before. People are sick and tired of a small part of the population with a lot of money -- the gun manufacturing lobby -- blocking any effort to keep the most dangerous weapons out of the hands of the most dangerous people. And the polls prove it – one after another recently is showing that the majority of the American people, including gun owners, support measures designed to keep the most dangerous weapons out of the hands of the most dangerous people."
She added, “Today we forge ahead, with the president and the American people behind us, to continue to work to reduce gun violence in America. These efforts can save lives, and we will fight hard to enact them.”
What did you think of the President Obama's speech and the executive orders he signed Wednesday? Tell us in the comments section below.