U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D., Sen. Jim Inhofe and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) each released statements regarding President Obama’s gun control proposals following the tragic events that took place in December at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
“The president is right to examine what can be done to prevent tragedies such as Sandy Hook from occurring again. I commend his effort and look forward to working with him on areas of agreement while we continue to honestly debate areas of disagreement. For instance, the president is right to take steps to strengthen mental health databases and reporting to the NICS system so we can ensure that guns do not end up in the hands of criminals or those who are a threat to themselves or others. In the hands of a deranged person, a clip size of one is one too many. Still, states are primarily responsible for enacting measures to improve reporting to the NICS system,” Coburn said. He took a democratic approach to the discussions adding that he would welcome the debate or discussion in Congress.
“However, as we debate these measures, we first must ensure our constitutional rights and individual liberties, including the Second Amendment right to bear arms, are protected. Instead of repeating the failed policies of the past, Congress should work on thoughtful and constitutional ways to prevent unspeakable tragedies like this from happening again. 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.
Inhofe and Mullin agree with Coburn in the effort to protect the rights of Oklahomans, but are taking a more direct approach to the President’s actions.
“While we mourn with those who have lost loved ones, in no way should the actions of those few who act illegally impact the constitutional rights of the many,” said Inhofe. “I will continue to strongly oppose any effort to undermine the Second Amendment and an individual citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.”
Inhofe continued, “What people need to understand about today’s announcement is that it involved two very distinct actions by the president: 1) executives actions that the President will be implementing unilaterally, and 2) making recommendations to Congress for laws that it should pass. Most of the planned executive orders are common sense changes that are within the President’s current powers to implement, namely:
1) Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
2) Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
3) Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
4) Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.
Mullin simply added that law-abiding citizens should not pay for the mistakes of criminals.
“The constitution was not written by the government to tell the people what rights they had. The constitution was written by the people to limit the government’s power,” Mullin said.
What the Obama administration is proposing in potential legislative actions and executive orders is a violation of Second Amendment rights, which guarantees us the right to keep and bear arms. Mullin added.
“In Oklahoma there are many law abiding citizens who hunt, fish and keep guns for self-protection. The last thing we need to do infringe upon the rights of those citizens. Criminals who chose to break the law will not be deterred by any number of executive actions. These rights are a fundamental way of life for people in my District and across the United States,” Mullin said.