President Obama Finalizing Plan to Expand Background Checks—Without Congress

Aude Guerrucci/ZUMA

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White House advisers are set to unveil a plan to expand background checks on gun sales without congressional approval, the Associated Press reported Thursday afternoon. The plan will include steps to close the “gun show loophole,” which permits the sale of guns while background checks are still pending.

President Barack Obama reportedly requested that his aides draft the plans in the wake of the shooting at a community college in Oregon back in October. Throughout his presidency, Obama has expressed frustration with Congress for its failure to enact tougher gun safety legislation—despite increasing calls from the public to do so.

On Thursday, Connecticut became the first state to bar people listed on federal terrorism lists from purchasing weapons. Days after the terrorist shooting in San Bernardino, California, the president spoke from the Oval Office on Sunday, urging lawmakers to pass similar bans and calling the measure a “matter of national security.”

“Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun,” Obama said. “What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon?”

“Like all Americans, I have been horrified by the recent terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said. “This should be a wake-up call to all of us. This is a moment to seize in America—and today I’m here to say that we in Connecticut are seizing it.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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