LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Arkansas state and federal lawmakers said the sentiment is good, but they criticized the president's proposed policies surrounding gun control.
Republican Congressman Tim Griffin said many Arkansans cherish the second amendment and to move forward with these proposals will jeopardize those rights. Griffin said the president's ideas are dated and the country needs new solutions.
"If there is even one life that can be saved then we've got an obligation to try," said President Obama.
The president brought the nation his ideas to curb gun violence, but Arkansas Congressman Tim Griffin sharply questioned whether these steps will help the issue.
"I haven't seen any proposal yet, particularly as it relates to gun control, that would have stopped any of the recent tragedies," said Griffin.
The president and Vice President Joe Biden urged Americans to let their voices be heard, saying action needs to happen now.
The president signed off on 23 executive actions, from providing incentives for schools to hire resource officers, to shoring up the background check system. The president also called for congress to reestablish a ban on military style assault weapons. Griffin said these tactics won't make children safer.
"The answer is not to pass legislation that makes us feel like we're doing something when in the fact the legislation will leave our children no safer and Americans less free," said Griffin.
Griffin suggested forming laws around the mentally ill and the justice system and enforcing laws already in place. Arkansas Democrat Senator, Mark Pryor, seemed to agree with Griffin.
"While I appreciate the President's efforts to keep Americans safe, I believe the place to start is to enforce the laws on the books. That being said, I will continue to look for areas of common ground, including funding for law enforcement in schools, implementing tracking systems for the mentally ill and criminals, and addressing violence in the media. Most importantly, I will be talking with my constituents in Arkansas as I vote on these issues in the future," said Pryor.
State Senator, Missy Irvin proposed law to make all Arkansas Schools prepared for the worst.
"Let these teachers and faculty know what to do in an instance like this just like you would in a tornado drill. This is what you do, this is how you respond, this is a safe place to be, these are the safe measures to take," said Irvin.