U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) commended President Barack Obama’s crackdown on gun violence and the recent executive order to instigate broader criteria for background checks regarding gun purchases.
“All gun purchases should be subject to a background check, and I applaud President Obama for working within his power toward achieving that goal,” Grijalva said. “The American people have been consistent in their demands that Congress stem the bloodshed brought on by our lax gun laws, but the Republicans in charge have turned a deaf ear to all but one constituency: the NRA’s leadership. These politicians have become pawns for an industry that breeds violence, and the results are tragic, unacceptable, and completely preventable.”
A November survey indicated that 83 percent of gun owners support checks on the sale of all firearms, including 72 percent of NRA members. Obama’s executive order was issued nearly five years after the Tucson shooting that nearly claimed the life of U.S. Rep.Gabrielle Giffords and killed six bystanders.
“The NRA will try to say this is solely about taking away our Second Amendment rights, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” Grijalva said. “Their No. 1 goal is maintaining gun sales, while the No. 1 goal of congressional leaders should be the safety of the American people.”
Grijalva said the attack on Giffords made the issue a priority for all legislators at a personal level. Grijalva cited the terrible incidents at Newtown and San Bernardino and asked rhetorically when a better time would be to act than after such atrocities.
“President Obama has taken steps today to rise above the GOP’s intransigence on gun violence and proposed much-needed investments in our enforcement and mental health capabilities," Grijalva said. "I look forward to working with him and our next president to build on this success.”