“Hayes: The real reason we call mass shootings ‘senseless’


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A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT . . .


CNN

President Barack Obama released a statement a day after the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, saying the “death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son.

“And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.”

Get complete coverage of breaking news on http://cnn.com , CNN TV and CNN Mobile.

Blog: “What the NRA Doesn’t Want You to Know”


MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN
What the NRA Doesn’t Want You to Know
For years the NRA has actively fought against and prevented research on the causes and costs of gun violence. Why have we put up so long with efforts to block all research on a huge public health threat that injures and kills tens of thousands of Americans every year? Continue reading…

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“Does Obama’s gun control plan have a chance?”


CBS NEWS

On Wednesday, President Obama initiated 23 executive actions designed to help combat gun violence. But as he himself acknowledged, there’s only so much he can do on his own. The “most important” changes, he said, need to go through Congress.

“To make a real and lasting difference, Congress too must act,” said the president. “And Congress must act soon.”

There are three main actions that the president wants Congress to take. The first is to mandate background checks for anyone who wants to buy a gun. (Right now, gun buyers who want to avoid background checks can, for instance, purchase a gun from a private seller at a gun show.) The second is to reinstate the ban on military-style assault weapons and limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds. And the third is to confirm Todd Jones as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Congress has not confirmed an ATF director in six years, and the president argued that doing so would improve the ability of that organization to help law enforcement in combating gun violence.

The president is also calling on Congress to ban armor-piercing bullets and pass new gun trafficking laws, pass his $4 billion plan that would provide funding for 15,000 police officers, and “end the freeze” on funding public health research on gun violence.  FULL ARTICLE

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“President Obama Unveils Sweeping Plan to Curb Gun Violence”


ABC NEWS

 Flanked by four children from across the country, President Obama today unveiled a sweeping plan to curb gun violence in America through an extensive package of legislation and executive actions not seen since the 1960s.

Obama is asking Congress to implement mandatory background checks for all gun purchases, including private sales; reinstate a ban on someassault-style weapons; ban high-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds; and crackdown on illicit weapons trafficking.

The president’s proposal also includes new initiatives for school safety, including a call for more federal aid to states for hiring so-called school resource officers (police), counselors and psychologists, and improved access to mental health care.

Obama also initiated 23 executive actions on gun violence, policy directives not needing congressional approval. Among them is a directive to federal agencies to beef up the national criminal background-check system and a memorandum lifting a freeze on gun violence research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  FULL ARTICLE

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“Obama to unveil gun proposals Wednesday”


CBS NEWS

ERRATUM: Video incorrectly says “Thursday.”

Just over a month after forming a task force aimed at reducing gun violence, President Obama will formally announce a “package of concrete proposals” for doing so tomorrow, the White House announced today.

In a White House press briefing today, spokesman Jay Carney declined to outline exactly what Mr. Obama’s plan would entail, but noted that it would reflect the president’s desire for a “comprehensive approach,” as well as specific legislative actions he has called on before — including reinstating the assault weapons ban, a ban on high-capacity magazine clips, and expanded background checks for gun owners.

“The president certainly hopes that out of the tragedy of Newtown we can achieve progress towards reducing gun violence in this country,” Carney said. “He believes that we can no longer stand by without taking action…Achieving some of the goals that he has already set might be difficult. Because they’re difficult does not mean they should not be pursued.”  FULL ARTICLE

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CNN – VP BIDEN’S TASK FORCE ON GUN REFORM


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CNN

A federal task force looking for ways to curb gun violence will have a set of recommendations by Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday. FULL STORY | How the NRA wields its influence |Gun laws: From founding fathers to today | A tale of two shootings  Video | Avlon: Obama and NRA can work together

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“Why Joe Biden needs the NRA”


THE WASHINGTON POST – THE FIX

The news that Vice President Joe Biden would huddle with executives from the National Rifle Association on Thursday came as unwelcome news to many gun control advocates who view the NRA as an organization to be ignored, not invited in.

But, the meeting is smart politics by Biden — and the White House more broadly. It’s a recognition that, to pass something on guns through Congress, they need the NRA either on board or not totally in opposition to the proposal.

Why? Like them or hate them — and there are lots of people who feel both ways — the NRA has proven to be among the best-funded and most effective groups when it comes to swaying the sentiments of members of Congress.

And while groups like Mayors Against illegal Guns and the newly-formed Americans for Responsible Solutions are being built to match (or at least approximate) the political power of the NRA, neither group is close to there yet — and likely won’t be for some time, if ever.

Biden, as he has shown both in cutting the debt ceiling deal of 2011 and the fiscal cliff compromise of 2012, understands how legislation makes and breaks in Congress, and he gets that, at least for now, the NRA is an unchallenged force on Capitol Hill when it comes to gun issues.

And remember that while the broad sentiment about what gun violence says about our society has shifted since the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., last month, public opinion on specific proposals has changed far less.  FULL ARTICLE

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“Why Joe Biden needs the NRA”


THE WASHINGTON POST – THE FIX

The news that Vice President Joe Biden would huddle with executives from the National Rifle Association on Thursday came as unwelcome news to many gun control advocates who view the NRA as an organization to be ignored, not invited in.

But, the meeting is smart politics by Biden — and the White House more broadly. It’s a recognition that, to pass something on guns through Congress, they need the NRA either on board or not totally in opposition to the proposal.

Why? Like them or hate them — and there are lots of people who feel both ways — the NRA has proven to be among the best-funded and most effective groups when it comes to swaying the sentiments of members of Congress.

And while groups like Mayors Against illegal Guns and the newly-formed Americans for Responsible Solutions are being built to match (or at least approximate) the political power of the NRA, neither group is close to there yet — and likely won’t be for some time, if ever.

Biden, as he has shown both in cutting the debt ceiling deal of 2011 and the fiscal cliff compromise of 2012, understands how legislation makes and breaks in Congress, and he gets that, at least for now, the NRA is an unchallenged force on Capitol Hill when it comes to gun issues.

And remember that while the broad sentiment about what gun violence says about our society has shifted since the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., last month, public opinion on specific proposals has changed far less.  FULL ARTICLE

Continue reading ““Why Joe Biden needs the NRA””