When President Obama announced his proposed changes to gun laws, pro-Second Amendment groups like the National Rifle Association responded negatively, calling the proposals ineffective and a distraction from terrorism concerns. Some Iowa gun owners, however, are supporting Obama's plans.
"I'm an avid hunter and I would like to say that I support what the President has got going on," says one caller. "I've never once thought of my guns as anything less than killing machines."
Danielle, a caller from Woodward, Iowa, says she has a gun in every room of her house but the bathroom and agrees with Obama.
"I am totally in favor of more strict gun laws. We have become a sick society. We've been taken over by the NRA," she says.
Beyond the question of whether the proposals are a good idea or not is the question of whether Obama has the authority to enact them. Many Republicans are calling his actions unconstitutional, but that won't stop the actions from coming to fruition.
"As long as Obama does this, it can be implemented until challenged in the court and that won't happen until his term is over. [...] The irony of it, the hypocrisy is, if he can exercise the executive pen and create these various initiatives, when they're elected President by god they're going to sign executive orders night and day to reverse all of Obama's executive orders," says Steffen Schmidt, University Professor of Political Science at Iowa State University.
In this hour of River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with Schmidt and Rachel Caufield, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Drake and Associate Director of the Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement, about the political ramifications of Obama’s gun law proposals.