By Jan C. Ting
President Obama has chosen to champion "comprehensive immigration reform," including a pathway to citizenship for every one of the estimated 12 million violators of U.S. immigration law who are not proven felons or national security threats, while continuing to spend billions of taxpayer dollars annually on immigration "enforcement." If the president is willing to invest his political capital in such a controversial initiative, why isn't he willing to take on the National Rifle Association and advance commonsense reforms of our gun laws in the wake of the latest slaughter of American children in their school?
A comprehensive "all of the above" approach to limiting gun violence in America, consistent with the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, would include:
Mandatory registration of all firearms, and mandatory reporting of all sales, transfers, or thefts of firearms, with criminal penalties for possession or sale of unregistered firearms.
Mandatory licensing of all firearms users, with criminal penalties for possession by unlicensed users.
More extensive background checks, with increased waiting times for licensing of firearms users.
A ban on certain types of firearms, like the ban on assault weapons that was in effect from 1994 to 2004, but without exceptions for or "grandfathering" of existing weapons.
A ban on high-capacity magazines that allow the firing of more than 10 rounds of ammunition without reloading, again with no exceptions or grandfathering.
Limits on total gun and ammunition sales to any one buyer, with an exception for ammunition actually used at shooting ranges.
The Obama administration must share the blame for the Newtown, Conn., school massacre, because it failed to act on its own modest reform proposals in the wake of prior gun massacres of innocent Americans on its watch.
The first priority of any administration should be protecting the American people from threats both foreign and domestic. If Obama fails to live up to that responsibility, why should anyone care about his ideas on immigration reform or fiscal policy?
President Obama will never again have to face the voters. In his remaining four years in office, he has an opportunity to lead the nation toward politically difficult but necessary reforms. But first he needs to get his priorities straight.
Preventing domestic gun violence should be at the top of his list. He shouldn't want to be remembered as the president who did nothing while America's children were being slaughtered.