Thornberry Responds To President's Gun Control Proposals

WASHINGTON, D.C.- U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) made the following comments in response to President Barack Obama's gun control proposals:

"No words can describe the unspeakable tragedy that occurred in Connecticut.  It is not surprising that the loss of so many innocent lives, including those of the children, has people asking how we can prevent something like this in the future.  I do not believe, however, that further gun control laws or 'executive action' would have stopped the murders at Sandy Hook or will solve the problem of violence in our society. Of course, current law should be enforced.

However, President Obama cannot change the law with any 'executive action,' such as those he outlined today. The Second Amendment to the Constitution provides important guarantees for a citizen's right to keep and bear arms.

President Obama is now attempting to restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of responsible, law-abiding citizens.

I believe a more responsible approach is to take significant steps to address mental illness and the root causes of such violence in our society.  Gun control legislation does not keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

The shooter in Connecticut, a state with some of the most stringent gun control laws in the nation, killed his mother and took her lawfully obtained weapons.  He illegally carried the guns into a gun free zone.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 93 percent of guns used by criminals are stolen, bought on the black market, or obtained in other illegal ways. The tragedy at Sandy Hook was an evil act perpetrated by an unstable individual."