Rep. John Carter's Statement On President's Gun Violence Plan

Obama plans do little to prevent Connecticut tragedy

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Very little proposed by President Obama today could have prevented the tragic shooting in Connecticut, while the President instead inflamed political and regional rancor on an issue over which broad bipartisan cooperation is needed, according to Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Carter (R-TX31).

“Americans are united in looking for real bipartisan solutions to the kind of mass shootings that we have suffered at Sandy Hook Elementary, Aurora, Fort Hood, Virginia Tech, and Columbine,” says Carter. “Instead we have the President accusing everyone who disagrees with his specific ideas to be pawns of lobbyists, who don’t care whether children are murdered. The only concrete reforms he proposes that could have prevented the Sandy Hook shootings is to provide school security officers at federal expense, which is in essence the NRA plan which he previously opposed, along with vague suggestions on increased firearms security measures.”

The mother of the Sandy Hook shooter legally purchased the firearms used in the crime under the same background check criteria as those proposed by Obama today. An armed guard at the school might have prevented the killings, as would have the weapons being locked in a gun safe or other security devices that would have prevented the shooter’s access. The shooter was legally blocked from purchasing firearms, and was able to carry out the attack only by accessing his mother’s guns.

Carter plans to introduce legislation providing federal tax incentives for firearm owners to better secure their weapons against unauthorized use, and remains open to finding constitutional ways to prevent mentally unstable persons from accessing guns. The former Texas judge is also interested in determining the role of media in the rash of recent mass shootings, especially that of violent video games.

Carter says he is committed to working with members of both parties to develop solid policies to prevent mass shootings. “We have recurring problems with these horrific incidents that must be addressed,” says Carter. “And those problems are not responsible firearms owners misusing their weapons. The Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, and Aurora shooters should have been denied sales based on their troubled histories, but were not. I’m very interested in finding ways to prevent mentally unstable individuals like these from purchasing weapons.”

“But I do not support the President’s call to deny or restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” Carter says. “I do not appreciate the rank partisanship of his remarks, and I remain suspicious of the legal rationale behind his executive orders. We need to bring this nation together to find common-sense solutions to eliminate these terrible acts while respecting our Bill of Rights. Fanning political flames is not the way to do that.”

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