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Obama’s Executive Action On Guns47:45
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President Obama takes executive action on guns. We’ll look at where we are in the long American gun story. Plus, Texas begins 2016 with a statewide open carry law.

President Barack Obama, joined by Vice President Joe Biden and gun violence victims, wipes a tear from his cheek as speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, about steps his administration is taking to reduce gun violence. Also on stage are stakeholders, and individuals whose lives have been impacted by the gun violence. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama, joined by Vice President Joe Biden and gun violence victims, wipes a tear from his cheek as speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, about steps his administration is taking to reduce gun violence. Also on stage are stakeholders, and individuals whose lives have been impacted by the gun violence. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The President cried. Not just a little. Real tears yesterday as he unveiled the executive actions he is now pushing to do something, however modest, about America’s epidemic of gun violence. Gun control advocates called the steps very modest. Gun rights advocates and Republican White House hopefuls called them dire attacks on liberty and the second amendment. That’s America. This hour On Point, the President’s push on guns.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, a lobbyist organization. (@larrypratt)

Shannon Watts, co-founder, with Michael Bloomberg, of Everytown for Gun Safety. (@shannonrwatts)

Robert Spitzer, professor and chair of the political science department at the State University of New York, College at Cortland. Author of "Guns Across America" and "The Politics of Gun Control." (@spitzerb)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Tearful Obama, Announcing Gun Control Steps, Condemns Shootings — "With tears streaming down his face, President Obamaon Tuesday condemned the repeated spasms of gun violence across America as he announced new executive actions intended to reduce the number of mass shootings, suicides and killings that have become routine in the nation’s communities."

The Wall Street Journal: Obama Expands Gun Controls in Executive Moves — "President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced new steps aimed at reducing gun violence, using his executive authority to expand background checks and strengthen enforcement of firearms laws. Bypassing Congress on an issue that has stymied this administration, the president said there are ways to reduce gun violence that are consistent with the Second Amendment."

Vox: President Obama's boldest action on guns yet, explained — "There are risks to Obama acting without congressional approval. Critics of the administration have already suggested that they will challenge new executive actions in court. Not getting legislation in the books also means that a President Ted Cruz (or Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, and so on) could unilaterally reverse Obama's actions. Shortly before the announcement of the plan, a congressional Republican also threatened to block funding for the Justice Department to stop the executive actions."

Texas Expands Open Carry Law

St. John Barned-Smith, law enforcement reporter for the Houston Chronicle. (@stjbs)

Houston Chronicle: Opening weekend of open carry quiet — "After months of debate, anticipation and trepidation, Texans packing heat could start legally toting their weapons openly in hip or shoulder holsters on Friday. The first weekend of the state's new open carry law brought much buzz, but few apparent incidents of note. In Austin, pro-gun activists met on the Statehouse steps Friday for a symbolic 'uncovering,' while a Cypress-area barbecue joint, Brooks' Place, offered a celebratory 25 percent discount to customers who showed up open carrying their guns on Jan. 1."

This program aired on January 6, 2016.

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