Obama Adds $500 Million Mental Health Funding To His Gun Control Agenda
As armed shootings involving loose gunslingers become an awfully common sight in the US, Obama presses on with his gun control policies- testing the constitutional limits of his executive authority- which include a money bill worth $500 million to increase greater access to mental healthcare.
Flanked by families of the victims of US shootings, Obama asserted that he will use whatever constitutional authority at his disposal to curb gun violence that swept the US in recent years.
"For every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken by a bullet from a gun, every time I think about those kids it gets me mad. All of us need to stand up and protect our citizens," the President said as quoted by ABC News.
To avert another wave of gun violence brought about relaxed gun laws, Obama vowed to work on his proposal to allocate an additional $500 million to widen access to mental health care and information for doing background checks.
Obama has been advocating for gun control laws since he stepped in the Oval Office. But his advocacy is fiercely opposed by many Republicans (and to some extent Democrats) who are staunchly pro-gun. In addition, the powerful gun lobby makes sure that no serious legislations would ever undermine the loose gun laws in some US states.
Republican critics often dismiss weak gun laws as the reason behind US mass shootings. Instead, they blame unstable mental health condition for the killings.
"For those in Congress who so often rush to blame mental illness for mass shootings as a way of avoiding action on guns, here's your chance to support these efforts. Put your money where your mouth is," told Obama in an apparent challenge to his critics as mentioned by Fox 59 News.
In another development, Senators Debbie Stabenow (Democrat) and Roy Blunt (Republican) are working on a legislative counterpart bipartisan bill to raise budget for community mental health clinics according to The Hill.