Yesterday, President Barack Obama publicly announced a comprehensive plan for addressing gun violence in the United States. In a press conference, President Obama announced that he will use the full extent of his executive power to curb gun violence in the United States, and called on Congress to take legislative action increasing gun control.
In his speech he announced that he would immediately take executive action to increase resource officers in schools, strengthen existing background check systems, and permit the Center for Disease Control to research the causes of gun violence, including the effects of violent video games. He announced that he will sign 23 executive orders to achieve these goals and signed three of the proposed orders at the press conference. The three memorandums signed include measures to expand the use of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), authorize the CDC to begin research on the causes of gun violence, and strengthen firearms tracing.
President Obama also urged Congress to require backgrounds checks for all firearms purchases and to ban military-style assault weapons. He also urged Congress to confirm Todd Jones to become the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The bureau has not had an official director in over six years.
"While there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, no piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil, if there is even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there is even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try," President Obama affirmed.
According to the CDC, firearms were responsible for 31,672 deaths (including suicides) in 2010. Data featuring trends in firearm deaths compiled by Bloomberg predict that by 2015, death related to firearms will surpass automobile deaths.
Media Resources: WhiteHouse.gov 1/16/2013; Bloomberg 12/19/2012; CDC 2010
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .