Obama hints at executive action to check gun violence

Washington, Jan 15 (IANS) Accusing the gun lobby of "ginning up" fears, President Barack Obama served notice that he may resort to executive orders to check gun rampant violence in the United States in the face of a powerful gun lobby opposing legislative action.

"I'm confident that there are some steps that we can take that don't require legislation and that are within my authority as president," Obama said Monday that marked one month of Newtown, Connecticut, shooting where 20 children and 6 adults were massacred.

"And where you get a step that has the opportunity to reduce the possibility of gun violence, then I want to go ahead and take it," he said at a news conference.

Responding to a question about a spike in weapons sales since the Newtown massacre, Obama said at least part of the frenzy is little more than marketing. "It's certainly good for business."

"Part of the challenge we confront is that even the slightest hint of some sensible, responsible legislation in this area fans this notion that somehow, 'Here it comes, everybody's guns are going to be taken away,'" Obama said.

Amid expectations of intense opposition by the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups, Obama said he would review recommendations from Vice President Joe Biden's task force on gun violence.

While the final recommendations have not been made public, Biden has said he's found widespread support for universal background checks and restrictions on the sale of high capacity magazines, which gun-control advocates believe contribute to more bloodshed at mass shootings.

Obama said he backs such measures and continues to support renewal of the Clinton-era assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

Meanwhile, several new polls showed increased support for stricter gun laws since the Newtown tragedy.

A new Gallup poll Monday shows 38 percednt of Americans are dissatisfied with current gun laws and support stricter proposals. That is a 13 percentage point jump from a year ago.

According to a Pew Research Centre poll, 85 percent of the public backs making private gun sales and purchases at gun shows subject to background checks, with comparable support across party lines.

The poll also indicates that 80 percent favour laws to prevent mentally ill people from purchasing guns, with broad support from Democrats, Republicans and independent voters.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll found that the Newtown shooting had made 52 percent more supportive of gun control with just 5 percent saying they are now less apt to back tighter restrictions.

Most also are at least somewhat worried about a mass shooting in their own community, with concern jumping to 65 percent among those with school-age children at home.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab

On Now: Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Punjab elect to bowl. More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »