Obama To Meet With Lynch, Hold Town Hall Meeting On Gun Violence


President Obama will participate in a live televised town hall meeting on Thursday to discuss gun violence, the New York Times reports. The hourlong event will start at 8 p.m. at George Mason University outside Washington, D.C. Obama meets Monday with Attorney General Loretta Lynch to talk about executive actions he can take on guns. “It would be better for our security if it was harder for terrorists to purchase very powerful weapons,” said Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser. “At a certain point, violence begets more violence.” Gun sales surged after the San Bernardino terror attack last month, as some Americans sought protection against the threat of Islamic extremists. Rhodes said such purchases were not an effective way to defend against a complicated terrorism threat. “Even if you think about the plots that we have stopped from going forward,” he said, “it's not like in a movie where we shot someone just as they were about to detonate a suicide vest.”

Instead, counterterrorism efforts largely rely on intelligence and law enforcement activities. Rhodes called efforts to arm citizens a dangerous and slippery slope. The White House has focused on an executive action that would detail who should be considered a high-volume gun dealer, a move that could expand background checks to a huge number of sales at gun shows and on the Internet. Republican presidential candidates on Sunday dismissed any potential executive action on guns as an abuse of power. “His first impulse is always to take rights away from law-abiding citizens, and it's wrong,” Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, said of Obama on “Fox News Sunday.” “And to use executive powers he doesn't have is a pattern that is quite dangerous.”

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