Barack Obama: US gun control inaction must end
An emotional US President Barack Obama has unveiled（揭示了） new restrictions on gun purchases at the White House, saying the “constant excuses for inaction” have to stop.
The White House has outlined his plans for executive action, which focus on background checks.
Most of the actions can be carried out without Congressional approval（国会批准）.
“That’s why we’re here, not to do something about the last mass shooting（大规模枪击）, but to prevent the next one,” he said.
“The gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage right now, but they can’t hold America hostage,” Mr Obama said.
He gave his remarks（致辞） surrounded by survivors and relatives of victims of shootings, recalling mass shootings in the US in the past few years and everyday gun violence in cities like Chicago.
An emotional President Barack Obama employed all of his rhetorical skill（修辞技巧） to justify what are, in reality, executive actions that modestly（谨慎地） expand federal regulation of firearm（枪炮） sales.
Standing in a room filled with victims of gun violence, he explained that the murder of schoolchildren in Newtown, Connecticut, changed him – and that he hoped it would change the country.
Three years have passed since that school massacre（大屠杀）, however, and the country hasn’t changed. While some states have toughened their laws, others have expanded gun rights and the US Congress has taken no action.
So Mr Obama did what he could, and wrapped the move in language that sounded more appropriate for a ceremony announcing the passage of sweeping legislation（彻底的立法措施） that, in today’s political environment, has no chance of reaching his presidential desk.
And even this small move will likely be fiercely challenged（被猛烈挑战） in court, in Congress and at the ballot box（投票箱） by whichever Republican wins the nomination fight to replace him in 2017.
Gun violence is significantly higher in the US than in other advanced countries, killing about 30,000 people each year.
Congress has been reluctant to pass any laws restricting gun ownership, facing pressure from gun owners and the powerful National Rifle Association.
Mr Obama tried to pass expanded background check legislation in 2012 after the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 children and six adults dead but it failed in Congress.
The executive actions include:
Background checks for all gun sellers, overturning current exemptions to some online and gun show sellers
States providing information on people disqualified from buying guns due to mental illness or domestic violence.
Increased workforce for the FBI to process background checks, hiring more than 230 new examiners
Congress being asked to invest $500m (£339m) to improve access to mental healthcare in the US
The departments of defense, justice and homeland security exploring “smart gun technology” to improve gun safety。
The announcement is already shaping up to be an issue in the 2016 presidential election.
Leading Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted: “@POTUS is right: We can protect the second Amendment（第二修正案，内容为保护枪支持有权） while protecting our families and communities from gun violence. And we have to.”
Republican candidate Senator Ted Cruz tweeted that the executive actions are unconstitutional（违反宪法的）, with a link to sign up for his campaign correspondence on a webpage that says “Obama wants your guns” with a photo of the president in an army jacket and hat.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush tweeted that he would repeal（否决） the actions and protect the Second Amendment.
During Mr Obama’s speech, comedian Amy Schumer, cousin of New York Senator Chuck Schumer, was in the audience. Two women died in a shooting at a movie theatre in Louisiana during a showing of her movie Trainwreck.
Gabby Giffords, a former congresswoman who survived a shooting, was there as well, in addition to many relatives of victims and survivors of mass shooting.