Surrounded by schoolchildren, President Barack Obama on Wednesday introduced his plan to reduce gun violence (PDF) that includes increasing access to mental health services and conducting federal scientific research on gun-violence causes and prevention.
The president's announcement comes one month after a lone gunman murdered 20 children and six school staffers in a shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. In addition to 23 executive actions, the plan includes recommendations that Congress act swiftly to pass legislation that would require a universal background check for all gun sales, restore a ban on military-style assault weapons and limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.
The plan is based on recommendations from Vice President Joe Biden and some Cabinet members who have met with stakeholders in the past month to develop a strategy that would reduce gun violence. Broad in scope, the administration's proposal also calls for hiring resource officers and developing emergency plans in schools, ensuring that mental health professionals understand their options for reporting acts of violence, and directing federal research on the causes of gun violence and the best ways to reduce it.
“And while year after year, those who oppose even modest gun-safety measures have threatened to defund scientific or medical research into the causes of gun violence, I will direct the Centers for Disease Control to go ahead and study the best ways to reduce it—and Congress should fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds,” the president said at the White House. “We don't benefit from ignorance. We don't benefit from not knowing the science of this epidemic of violence.” Specifically, the administration has asked Congress to provide $10 million to the CDC to conduct additional research in this area.