I thought it would be interesting to translate President Obama's speech on gun violence dated January 16, 2013, to a word cloud utilizing Wordle. His speech can be found on the White House website and is titled, Remarks by the President on Gun Violence. The president's moving speech honored the victims and families of the Newtown tragedy and touched on the Aurora shooting. He emphasized his moral obligation, and the obligation of all Americans, to shield children from harm, to help prevent mass shootings, and to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in the United States. President Obama put forward a set of proposals (23 executive actions) that include giving law enforcement, schools, mental health professionals and the public health community some of the tools they need to help reduce gun violence.
The most frequently occurring words included: gun, right, congress, one, people, violence, children, background, and assault.
According to President Obama, Congress needs to restore a ban on military-style assault weapons, and limit gun magazines to 10-rounds. He went on to state, "The type of assault rifle used in Aurora, for example, when paired with high-capacity magazines, has one purpose -- to pump out as many bullets as possible, as quickly as possible; to do as much damage, using bullets often designed to inflict maximum damage."
President Obama's Executive Actions on Gun Violence are the first steps toward reducing mass shootings and other types of gun related tragedies in the United States.
Conduct universal background checks for anyone trying to buy a gun
Currently a high percentage of gun purchases take place without any background check. President Obama's executive action includes better information sharing state-to-state by removing legal barriers such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and to provide incentives for information sharing. It goes on to require the Attorney General to assess established high risk categories of individuals to ensure potentially dangerous individuals cannot purchase firearms. It also suggests that law enforcement should run background checks in cases of seized guns before returning guns to owners.
General gun safety guidelines and gun accountability
Proposals touch upon general gun safety guidelines and gun accountability. This includes launching a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign and to review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes. The order covers gun safety technologies and challenges the private sector to develop innovative gun safety technologies. It calls for federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations and law enforcement sharing of information concerning lost or stolen guns.
Active shooter training and school safety
Obama's executive actions cover active shooter training and school safety. This includes providing law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations. It also provides incentives for schools to hire police School Resource Officers (SROs), and to develop model emergency response plans for schools, places of worship, and colleges / universities.
Keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill
Allow doctors to ask patients about having guns at home by clarifying the Affordable Care Act, and provide a letter to healthcare providers clarifying that they can report threats of violence without fear of violating any federal laws. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations and to launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.