Just recently, the U.S. Congress submitted a legislation to President Donald Trump to block a rule created during Barack Obama’s presidency. That rule aimed to ban gun ownership among people who are mentally disabled. Is this a good thing?
The Senate supported the resolution with a winning vote of 57 against 43, according to Yahoo! News. The Republicans in the Congress seemed keen to abolish all implementations by the former United States president.
The Purpose of Obama’s Gun Control
Obama’s gun ownership rule led to more or less 75,000 people who couldn’t purchase a firearm because of their mental instabilities. The former US president’s implementation was created after the massacre of six staff and 20 students back in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut. Its main goal was to strengthen the system of official background check before owning a gun.
The unforgettable tragedy at Sandy Hook was all because of a young man who suffered from different psychological problems such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and Asperger’s syndrome. Adam Lanza did not only kill people at school – he also murdered his own mother before going to Sandy Hook. The big twist was killing himself in the end when he was already surrounded by authorities. Another catch was Lanza just using his mother’s gun.
After the massacre, Obama ordered the Social Security Administration to surrender names of their beneficiaries who are mentally impaired. Despite the good cause Obama was trying to make, lawmakers, advocacy groups supporting the disabled, and the National Rifle Association opposed the implementation.
Thoughts behind the Congress’s Repeal
Sen. Charles Grassley, a certified Republican from Iowa, was leading the repeal. He disliked the fact that the Obama administration stigmatized the mentally impaired. He reminded that the Constitution states the right of the disabled to own guns. The senator thought the regulation was weak because other mental problems were included such as sleep and eating disorders. He wanted the regulation to follow the federal mentally defective standard.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) surely agreed with Sen. Grassley. It was included in the list of organizations that were strongly opposing Obama’s gun control. The members believed that the former president’s rule was discrimination to the mentally disabled because it was based on stereotype.
However, Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, was frustrated that he couldn’t convince his constituents that the Congress is just looking for trouble. He believed that with the resolution, severe mentally impaired people would have an easier time purchasing a gun. He said that since the mentally impaired couldn’t even manage their finances, this group of people might not be able to manage being responsible gun owners as well.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence president Dan Gross was also one of the people who contradicted the Congress’s resolution. He believed it was “heartless” because vulnerable people would be in danger. He stated that the votes were leading to expanding the market of gun sellers. The Prevent Gun Violence advocate implied that the mentally impaired could hurt themselves and other people with guns.
I think Obama’s gun ownership rule was totally for a good cause. The tragedy at Sandy Hook was not the only case of a mentally impaired person using guns to hurt people. Because of many gun violence tragedies in the past, rules must be implemented regarding gun control and ownership. Maybe if Obama’s administration just improved the regulation by providing exemptions, people would be more inclined to support the former president’s rule.