The Edmond Sun

Local News

January 16, 2013

Oklahomans react to Obama gun control proposals

EDMOND — U.S. Rep. James Lankford reacted to the president’s gun control proposals, applauding the emphasis on school safety while saying state governments are best equipped to deal with local gun safety issues.

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama unveiled an aggressive gun control agenda that includes requiring background checks for all gun sales and passing a new, stronger ban on assault weapons.

Obama said his proposals will make it easier to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and they will give law enforcement, schools, mental health professionals and the public health community tools they need to help reduce gun violence and protect children. He cited the spate of recent shootings.

“This is our first task as a society,” the president said. “This is how we will be judged. And their voices should compel us to change.”

Obama affirmed his belief that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms, but said he believes all Americans have a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure guns are used safely.

Groups supporting the proposals include the PTA. In a statement, National PTA president Betsy Landers applauded the Obama administration’s “robust plan,” saying the organization agrees that the nation needs to offer safety training and comprehensive mental health services. The PTA supports universal background checks for gun sales and the assault weapons ban, but wants schools to be completely gun-free.

In the National Rifle Association’s response, the organization stated that Congress needs to find a bipartisan basis for real solutions to protect children. Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis facing the nation, the NRA stated.

“Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy,” the NRA stated.

Lankford, R-Edmond, said the recent rise in mass shootings is not a product of gun ownership but a cultural shift that has occurred in the country, a trend that requires serious evaluation.

“Any proposals to address this shift must work to solve the problem, not just force Congress to ‘do something,’” Lankford said.

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, said Obama should take steps to strengthen mental health databases and reporting to the federal background check system to ensure guns do not end up with criminals or persons who are a threat to themselves or others.

“Still, states are primarily responsible for enacting measures to improve reporting to the (background check) system,” Coburn said.

Lankford, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said he supports efforts to reduce bullying and violence in public schools through creative local solutions. He encouraged responsible adults to get involved in the health and safety of the nation’s children.

Obama’s efforts to begin to implement some of the Oversight Committee’s recommendations to prevent gun trafficking in America will bolster local community safety initiatives for children and families, Lankford said.

Lankford said New York’s recent decision to enact new gun controls on its citizens to meet a unique regional opinion does not force citizens of other states to live under a federal one-size-fits-all model.

“As a staunch Second Amendment advocate, I remain committed to the principle that any federal proposals must be constitutionally consistent and work to solve the societal problems we face,” he said.

Regarding the legislative process, Lankford said since Obama selected Vice President Joe Biden, the de facto Senate leader, to lead his gun violence task force, he assumes the Senate will immediately take up the proposals.

Coburn said he looks forward to debating these issues on the floor of the Senate, and encouraged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, to schedule a full and open debate.

“Members of Congress and the American people have a right to know where members stand on these key policies,” Coburn said. “If members can’t defend their positions, they don’t deserve to be here.”

Coburn said the fact that almost every public mass shooting tragedy occurs in a place where guns are prohibited shows that restricting Second Amendment rights tends to disarm everyone but the assailant. He said with rights come responsibilities, and gun owners must do what they can to prevent guns and ammunition from falling into the wrong hands.

Oklahoma State Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, said his concerns include infringement on states’ rights and the Second Amendment. He said at a time when the national debt keeps rising he is concerned about the price tag for the proposals.

The president signed a total of 23 executive orders, action that does not require congressional approval. Obama’s proposals, which according to various reports would cost about $500 million, include:

• Requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales;

• Taking four executive actions to ensure information on dangerous individuals is available to the background check system;

• Reinstating and strengthening the assault weapons ban;

• Restoring the 10-round limit on ammunition magazines;

• Protecting police officers by finishing the job of getting rid of armor-piercing bullets;

• Giving law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime;

• Making our schools safer with more school resource officers and school counselors, safer climates and better emergency response plans;

• Helping ensure that young people get the mental health treatment they need;

• Ensuring health insurance plans cover mental health benefits; and

• Ending the freeze on gun violence research.

Lankford said he will reserve judgment on any proposed legislation until he is able to review the Senate-passed versions of the president’s proposals. | 341-2121, ext. 108

Text Only
Local News
  • Oak Tree Official offers glowing update on Senior Open

    An official who has been in charge of tournaments since 2001 said the 2014 U.S. Senior Open is probably the best city event partnership he has seen.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Edmond soldier settles in housing benefits case

    U.S. Attorney Sanford C. Coats said Thursday a U.S. Army reserve soldier from Edmond has agreed to pay the government $20,000 to settle civil claims related to obtaining fraudulent housing benefits.

    April 17, 2014

  • Stevenson 1 Oklahoman returns home focused on pro-gay agenda

    Troy Stevenson remembers the day when football players discovered him and his boyfriend holding hands behind an Edmond high school. After they had been chased off school property, Stevenson, called to check on his boyfriend.
    “He was in hysterics,” Stevenson said. “… Like me, I thought he was scared. Did people see us? What would people think?”

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lawn Experts’ tips can help your lawn bounce back

    Chances are your lawn is looking a bit bedraggled after this rough winter.
    That’s not surprising. Between brutally cold temperatures and drying winds, turf took a beating this year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gracelawn grows larger

    The Edmond City Council voted 5-0 in favor of the city purchasing 20.5 acres of land immediately to the north of Gracelawn Cemetery. Purchasing the property is needed for future expansion of the cemetery, Mayor Charles Lamb, said.
    Gracelawn Cemetery is owned and operated by the city and is located on the northwest corner of Danforth and Boulevard.

    April 17, 2014

  • Warmth needed to grow tomatoes

    The time for those growing tomatoes in their garden is when the soil temperature is above 60°F and fear of frost has past. We are generally safe from frosts after April 5.  However, frosts have occurred as late as May 1 in the Oklahoma City area. If you planted your tomatoes on or before April 5 last year you would have covered them several times as there were several late frosts. If you plant early, be ready to cover your plants during nighttime frosts.

    April 17, 2014

  • Debate Senate hopefuls meet in first debate

     Accountability to the American people and the $17.5 trillion debt continues to be a major issue in the race for U.S. Senate office being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.
    The Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee hosted a debate Wednesday for three of the seven Republicans running for the U.S. Senate seat that is being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oklahoma City FC invites fans to design club scarf

    Oklahoma’s top-tier soccer club, Oklahoma City FC, invites soccer fanatics across Oklahoma to be a part of its future by designing its scarf.
    Scarves are a tradition among soccer clubs and are typically a team’s most recognizable accessory. Scarves are a matter of pride for hard-core supporters and feature team colors, logo and inspiring slogans. Scarves are a part of a team’s identity.

    April 16, 2014

  • MS_injection well.jpg Agency clarifies earthquake-related misinformation

    A state agency says misinformation related to the debate about the cause of more earthquakes across Central Oklahoma includes oil well types, well numbers and injection pressure.
    The Prague sequence of 2011 along the Wilzetta Fault zone included a significant foreshock, a main shock of magnitude 5.7 and numerous aftershocks. It has been suggested that this sequence represents tremors triggered by fluid injection.
    More recently, earthquakes have been recorded in the vicinity of Jones, Arcadia Lake, Edmond, Guthrie, Langston and Crescent. Regulators and scientists are working together to better understand what’s causing all the shaking.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff seeks items for agency history project

    If you have historic pictures or artifacts related to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, the agency is asking the public to share them.
    “The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is working on a history project. If you, your family, friends or acquaintances have any old photos or artifacts related to the OCSO we would love to have them or a digital copy,” said Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel.

    April 16, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Video
My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

     View Results