Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 7:54:16 PM
Where do we go after the Newtown school shooting?
On December 14, 2012, a gunman, later identified as Adam Lanza, entered a Connecticut elementary school with a loaded weapon, and began firing at teachers and students. The shooting took place for about 15 minutes, before Lanza committed suicide by a self-inflicted gun shot to the head. In the aftermath, Lanza killed 20 children, six teachers, and himself. This shooting was the second deadliest school shooting in the United States, after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.
As a result of this deadly shooting, President Obama has proposed a gun control law to stop gun violence. Part of Obama’s proposed plan is to produce background checks on all gun sales and bans on military style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. As part of the background checks for gun sales, a criminal background check will be required with this new plan. Last Thursday, January 17, 2013, Obama signed 23 executive actions that did not require approval from congress to improve present gun laws. President Obama also projected to congress the idea of reestablishing an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, which limited ammunition magazines to no more than 10 rounds, and he also wants to rid the streets of armor piercing bullets. To help law enforcement prosecute gun crimes, another proposed plan is to create serious retributions for gun trafficking.
Other proposed plans of President Obama are making schools safer, and improving mental health services. As part of his plan to make schools safer, Obama wants schools to take executive action to provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers. President Obama has proposed one idea to put up to 1,000 resource officers and counselors in schools. Obama also wants schools to have a complete and reliable emergency plan. A final plan to make schools safer is to create a safer climate at schools across the country. Obama has projected a 50 million dollar plan to help over 8,000 schools train their teachers and other school staff to apply tactics to make school’s climates safer. Also, the department of education will distribute their greatest practices on school discipline policies and help school districts develop their policies.
As far as improving mental health services, President Obama wants to make sure students and young adults receive treatment for their mental health issues. This includes providing mental health first-aid training for teachers, supporting individuals between the ages of 16-25 at high risk for mental issues, and launching a national conversation to increase understanding about mental health. President Obama also wants to authorize coverage of mental health treatment. Obama wants to finalize requirements for private health insurance plans to cover mental health services, and also ensure millions of Americans covered by Medicaid receive quality mental health coverage.
There is no guarantee that all of President Obama’s proposed plans will be accepted by congress, but I believe some of these plans will, and I just hope they are for the better for this country’s safety.