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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Vice President Joe Biden joined New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg Thursday at a press conference calling on Congress to show “courage” and pass stricter gun safety laws.

Biden and Bloomberg appeared at New York’s City Hall along with the family members of several of those killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, CT. The shooter used an AR-15, one of the guns that would fall under the assault weapons ban that the Senate recently decided not to advance as part of a broader gun safety bill.

“For all of those who say we can’t and shouldn’t ban assault weapons, for all those who say the politics is just too hard, how can they say that?” Biden asked. “When you take a look at those 20 beautiful babies and what happened to them? And those six teachers and administrators? Think about Newtown. Think about Newtown.”

Bloomberg, one of America’s most outspoken gun safety advocates, concurred. The mayor argued that “there is no debate” that Americans support President Obama’s proposed package of gun safety reforms — a statement that is backed up by recent polls.

“In the end, what Congress has to decide is whether it’s politically popular or is it the right thing to do,” Bloomberg declared.

Approximately 3,000 Americans have been killed by gun violence since the Newtown shooting.

Video of the full press conference can be seen below:

  • Sadly, an issue which should enjoy widespread support by a, purportedly. civilized society is likely to cost us congressional seats in 2014. Issues such as gun control, abortion, gay marriage, illegal immigration, and racial and gender equality are poison in most red states. Democrats are going to pay a price in 2014 throughout the Confederacy and the Bible Belt, not because we are not doing the right thing – as a civilized nation and leaders of the Free World – but because we are. The line that separates our fundamentalists from those in the Islamic world and Orthodox Jews is so thin it is almost invisible.

    I applaud President Obama’s courage for trying to solve social injustices that are unworthy of a great nation, but make no mistake, there are consequences to doing the right thing.

    • rpg1408

      It is very sad that these issues, so essential to a just,moral society, are politically poison in a large part of the Country .Nevertheless,I do think that it is important for us to continue to “do the right thing”, despite the consequences, if we are to remain true to our vision of this Country.

    • sigrid28

      This is like the decision Harry Reid had to make regarding changing the rules of the filibuster. Shall we be expedient and win by postponing the Democratic agenda for more effective approaches to gun violence and to protecting the health of women and children, or shall we lose by running on a platform we believe in?

      To decide, it might be instructive to understand why Harry Reid chose to retain the ability to demand a 60-vote majority. He knew Democrats in the Senate would need that if Republicans–especially THESE Republicans–were ever to gain a majority in the Senate. In addition, by refusing to rock the boat, Reid protected rules that allow him to block crazy bills passed in the House (like the Ryan budget) by keeping a bad bill from ever reaching the floor of the Senate, or by holding onto it until it is so gutted by amendments and rotten with disgusting riders that even Republican senators will not want to vote for it. He chose expediency over ideology, because he knows his Republican opponents, whose sole agenda is bringing the government to its knees.

      Seeing as how the House and Senate just passed a bill extending the CR until September even though it was loaded with riders helping the NRA and its benefactors, it seems as though the Democrats in Washington have decided to provide exquisite ideological support for legislation to curtain gun violence but tacitly to avoid if at all possible actually passing federal laws to bring it about. Until our opponents are less insane, we may have to support gun control laws in theory only. Once we have won the war, putting a majority of Democrats in the House and Senate as well as the White House, and returning more fairness to the Supreme Court, our Democratic elected officials may then have the luxury of acting on our true beliefs.

      You’re right, Dominick. To bring about change we will first have to destroy the Republican dominance in the House and perhaps on the Supreme Court. Rich, poor, or middle class–the sooner we wake up to this fact, the better.

  • nobsartist

    Sadly, an issue that is a non-issue. After 30 years of a republiCON failed health care policy, Obama “fixes” it by forcing all of us to buy into it. Meanwhile, his “vice president” who has never had a real job, is busy wasting time on gun rights. Maybe instead of a jobs program, the useless can vote on another abortion bill.

    They should be concerned about gun rights because it looks like guns are going to wind up removing many parasites from the dole.

    After all, actions have consequences and so does no action.

    • sigrid28

      Exactly how will guns “wind up removing many parasites from the dole”?

      • ralphkr

        I am just guessing but I think he is referring to the various gangbangers, usually on the dole, battling over dope turf and doing driveby shootings with real assault weapons. Unfortunately, they are invariably lousy shots and often end up killing some innocent bystander. No law shall ever disarm the criminals.

        • sigrid28

          I’ll say this for you, at least you’re honest about loving guns and hating minorities. You have no pretend sympathy for the victims of gun violence and do not make a secret about how you feel about “gangbangers,” people “on the dole,” and “criminals” involved in the drug trade. You even point out that they “shall never” be disarmed–which makes them exactly like you.

          • ralphkr

            I fail to understand what makes you think that I hate minorities and people on the dole and gun victims (perhaps you are projecting your own feelings). I do despise gangbangers but that has nothing to do with the majority of the people on the dole. I also do not understand why you put quotes around “criminals” since that makes it appear that you feel that is an incorrect term for those who break laws. I suppose you would prefer to change the term “criminals” to “Freedom Fighters” but the fact remains that no law shall be able to disarm criminals since they shall always be able to obtain firearms. I also fail to understand how you can say that I have no sympathy “pretend sympathy on your part Sigrid28” for the victims since my only mention of victims was that gangbangers are such lousy shots that they often kill an innocent bystander. Admittedly, I have never had any sympathy, pretend or otherwise, for those I have shot in the course of my duties (hard for me to feel sorry for those shooting at me with automatic weapons).

            More to the point, sigrid28, you should consider why the population of the US is so much more violent than the population of the countries from whence we came? Per capita, we exceed all other first world countries in violence committed with firearms, sharp objects, and blunt objects. Another question that needs answered is why are most mass killings committed by young males from middle class/upper middle class white families?

          • whodatbob

            sigrid28 is as looney as Lana! we need to stop responding to him/her/it.

          • sigrid28

            Try to use your words effectively instead of hiding from or trying to silence opposition. You’ll like it!

          • sigrid28

            You should use your words more, Ralph, because you defend yourself well with them. Would that all individuals caught up in the gun culture in this country would sharpen their word skills, so they could use them as effectively as you do, and depend less on firearms. Each of the areas you target for further research is addressed in the provisions set forth by the Biden task force, but none of this research is likely to take place, because legislation to address gun violence in dead in Congress. Eight riders on the recent bill to extend the CR and postpone the shut down of the government for a few more months (passed by both the House and Senate), which the president is likely to sign before March 27th, make into federal law what were previously only NRA initiatives designed to prohibit the kind of research that you ask for. Now it is against the law to do research into the source of gun violence and the proliferation of gun deaths in our country.

            A procedural point for those who like to use words as their weapons of choice: I put quotation marks around words from your post in my post to indicate that I am citing your terms exactly, not to cast aspersions on your choice of words or your intentions. Similarly, I might disparage hypocrites who love guns more than victims of gun violence in a post that replies to you, but that does not mean that I put you in that category–necessarily. Above, where I refer to “individuals caught up in the gun culture,” I do not necessarily mean you as a gun lover. I could be referring to you as, perhaps, a law enforcement professional, caught up because of your work on a daily basis, or you as a victim, living in a neighborhood where gang members (the respectful term for “gangbangers”) fight over turf daily. In general, if somebody says something you think of as insulting, it might make sense to find out what they actually meant by what they said before assuming the worst.
            I see someone like you as part of the solution to our problems as a society, not the cause of them.

  • docb

    Every little bit helps on this vital issue..We need to be pushing our congress members to do their job…quit being cowards! Call them 1.866.338.1015

    • nobsartist

      Yes, be sure to call them and make them aware that nothing is more important than guns and abortions.

      That will allow them to verify that Americans are so stupid that they can easily be duped by non-issues.

  • whodatbob

    Assault weapons, defined as military automatic weapons (machine guns), have been constitutionally legislated illegal since the 1930’s. Doesn’t VP Joe Biden know this? He knows but it does not service his purpose. I have the utmost respect for VP Joe, but he can get carries away. Perhaps, Senitor Reid knows the difference between an illegal assult weapon and a semi automatic rifle. Hide the tobacco, no big drinks mayor Mike Bloomberg is a joke. He hurts the cause.
    Lets try to face the real problem not sensationalize the issue. Reid knows the weapons used are not weapons of war. Qiut trying to gain support by calling the weapons attempting to be ban something they are not. The one father said it all when he sopke of his son was killed by a mentally deranded person. My heart goes out to all the parents who suffer the loss of a child.

    • sigrid28

      You gun enthusiasts always try to derail the discussion of needed reforms by quibbling about definitions–you never really answer the question of why weapons like those used by Adam Lanza and other mass killers are necessary. They are not necessary. They are just something you would like to have. The same goes for large magazines and clips, and military grade ammunition. They are just something you would like to have. You think the Second Amendment protects your right to own these firearms and ammo–and the right of anyone else who would like to do the same.

      You love guns and gun paraphernalia so much you do not want to curtail their availability in any way, even to keep them out of the hands of persons hell-bent on committing massacres. Just say that. We don’t need to hear your phony bleating about grieving parents and their mutilated children, people you do not love as much as this weaponry.

      • DEFENDER88

        So, your short term agenda seems to be – Ban Assault Rifles.
        My agenda is to stop the killing.
        2 very different agendas.

        Very few of the mass killers use assault type rifles to do the killing.
        The great majority of the killing has been done with hand guns and shotguns.

        Banning assault rifles may make you feel good about doing *something*
        But will(by default) have little to no effect on stopping the killing.
        You have to look at the causal factors to determine what will work toward stopping the killing.
        And part of that is to be real about the weapons actually used.
        But even more important – who is doing this and why – there are identifiable patterns. And other contributing factors.

        It is likely to keep happening until we address the real causes and real solutions that will work to stop it.

        So – do you want to stick with your simple agenda?
        Or do you want to get real and discuss the actual causes and real solutions?

        The *need* for assault rifles is a different issue, but since it is not the real problem I dont want to waste time on it here.
        And, since my agenda is to actually stop the killing, dont tell me I dont care about grieving parents and dead children.

        • sigrid28

          My long-term agenda is to let gun enthusiasts do as they please until the general populace is so fed up with this behavior–as well as other behaviors by the far right, intended to defeat government altogether–that Democrats and Independents take over local, state, and federal government functions in such a way as to restore democracy, so that the will of the true majority dominates. Once that happens, we’ll see what the majority wants when it comes to firearms and ammunition.

          Until then, I think gun lovers should concentrate their enthusiasms on their guns and gun shows, and stop all the hypocritical posturing about gun victims and their families. These people do not concern you.

          • ralphkr

            Of course, sigrid28, there is statistically more gun violence in households with firearms (hard to commit suicide with a gun if you do not have one) just as there is statistically more knife violence in areas with knives readily available (home, restaurant kitchen, butcher shop) than in areas without knives.

          • sigrid28

            When it comes to dealing with gun violence, we do not need to try to discuss at the same time the presence of knives in the household. Vice President Biden and Mayor Bloomberg are proposing measures to prevent gun violence, so that is our topic.

            I should add as well that gun violence in households is not just a matter of suicides, but also domestic violence involving firearms and accidents involving children and some gun owners themselves. These are the kinds of gun violence that is more prevalent in households with guns than without.

          • ralphkr

            What we really need to be discussing when dealing with gun violence is what is the underlying cause that makes young Caucasian males from well off families to gather weapons and explosives in order to commit mass killings. I certainly do not see any mass hysteria about the explosives that have been found but just the hysteria about guns.

            You also are ignoring the fact that about half of gun deaths are suicides. You also ignore the fact that I am correct that one cannot commit suicide with a gun if one does not have a gun available and that it is pretty hard to have gun violence or knife violence when neither are readily available.

          • sigrid28

            The only “mass hysteria” I see is the rush to buy more guns, more ammo, and more of the paraphernalia that goes with them. Perhaps amassing explosives is a gun enthusiast’s hobby of choice. If one is less likely to commit suicide with a gun if one is NOT available, logic would have it that one is more liable to commit suicide with a gun (or knife) if one IS available. I should add, in our society gun availability does not seem to be a problem.

          • ralphkr

            Ah, but sigrid, every time there is a group of deaths there is an immediate hysterical call for a ban of assault weapons and, in the past, those killings were not performed with such a weapon. I remember when California banned assault weapons and their definition included my granddaughter’s 22 caliber target pistol (magazine was ahead of the trigger which made it an assault weapon in California). The immediate knee-jerk reaction to every assault with a firearm by politicians is to start talking about banning guns because A) that is so much simpler than exploring what actually caused the tragedy and B) they know that they will get lots of votes because they are protecting the people. C) they know that an effective ban shall never be passed because an effective ban is impossible in the US.

          • sigrid28

            We can quibble about the definition of mass hysteria all day. Better to look at points A through C. On B is where we differ, because I think politicians know they will NOT get votes by supporting a ban on assault weapons. They actually fear voting against anything the NRA supports, so there go A and C, into the pile of legislation on which a vote will not be taken. And yet, love is in the air. Gun enthusiasts love their guns. Politicians love their elected offices and want to hold onto them as long as possible. American society has its love affair with gun violence, whether in video games, in films or television programs, or in the media, where every new massacre results in a new case of–you guessed it–mass hysteria.

          • DEFENDER88

            My mistake.
            Most people in here are interested in ways(actual solutions) to stop the killing.
            I try to talk about that(with actual facts) and all you can do is attack my character.
            What is it like to feel so Arrogant, self-righteous, sanctimonious, conceited, pious, and omnipotent?
            Oh wait – you just told me.
            ps
            I worked for Hillary, and voted for Obama and progressive agendas both times(while being surrounded by Right Wing family) so dont even try to tell me about Left vs Centrist vs Right.

          • sigrid28

            When it comes to gun violence, the only way to “stop the killing” is to take the NRA out of the equation.

          • DEFENDER88

            Well at least you are finally on the subject of stopping the killing.
            So, if the NRA never existed or did not exist as of tomorrow the killing would stop?
            Right. Even Biden and Bloomberg dont believe that.

            While you write well and seem intelligent, Apparently, your abject hatred of even responsible gun owners has warped your critical thinking and judgment.

            You should get some help with this. Its called anger management.
            Good thing you are not a gun owner.
            And your superiority/holier-than-thou complex needs to be turned down a notch or two.

            You risk not being taken seriously at all.
            Or being considered a dangerous radical just as dangerous as irresponsible gun owners.

          • sigrid28

            Some inarticulate gun fanciers have made the choice to shoot first, ask later. If they knew how to go about using words to defend themselves, perhaps they would not be so fearful. It is not just the love of firearms alone that drives them to amass guns and ammo; some gun owners need their stockpiles to feel safe. This would seem to be a case for anger management.

            I’ve never understood why paranoid gun enthusiasts are so frightened by people who defend themselves by using words effectively, by that I mean through discourse and critical thinking, rather than by tossing around insults and piling on NRA talking points, as you do.

          • DEFENDER88

            I do yield to you on being articulate.
            As an engineer it is not my field.
            I am better with data and facts.
            Why you choose to ignore the facts is confusing to me. Unless(so I reason) it conflicts with an invested agenda you may have.
            But *you* started with the insults by insulting my character and empathy concerning parents and dead children.
            I dont know what the NRA points are. I dont follow them. You probably know much more about them then I do.
            I have done the research on my own(I have the data) and the fact is the great majority of mass killing, especially in schools, has been done with pistols and shotguns. I have no idea what the NRA has to say about that. Dont really care.
            Given that fact, even if assault rifles were totally banned tomorrow it would have very little effect on the school killing problem.
            And FBI data I have seen supports that conclusion. ie Rifle crime is 3-4% and assault rifles(a sub-set of Rifles) estimated to be less then 1% of all gun crime.
            Also, there are so many of them out there already(many in the wrong hands) it would take many years to have any real effect.
            I am trusting you actually do, fundamentally, want the killing to stop as much as I do and not stuck on just banning a particular weapon.
            Especially since the data shows that is not the most common weapon of choice in school killings.
            Even if it were, there are other things that could and should be done to *effectively* limit or stop the killing.
            I am also confused why you would not want to even consider the actual causal factors here to try to develop solutions.
            With your intellect and energy I dont think you should give up on the short term. I would rather see you re-direct your energy to pushing for changes(based on the causal factors) that probably can be done and have a real near-term effect. Changes I have yet to be able to put forward with you in trying to work thru this round of insults.
            I pray not but dread, to the core, the next one. And there will be more if changes are not made and soon.

      • whodatbob

        No! Use the correct discription of the weapon not some over reach of a discription. Your followers are with you. Those you need to persuade know the difference between a semi automatic weapon and an assult weapon. As long as those attempting to ban semi automatic rifles continue to refer to semi-automatic rifles as assult weapons knowelegable people, some of us who agree with the ban, move away from your ban.
        Do as I say because I know what is best for you, Bloomberg hurts any cause he backs. VP Biden gets all worked up and says things he should not say.
        As for your last paragraph! You have made assumptions without any knowelge of my background or thought process. You are so far off base that my only response is to remind you that assume makes an ass out of u.

        • sigrid28

          I’ve never understood why paranoid gun enthusiasts are so frightened by people who defend themselves by using words effectively, by that I mean through discourse and critical thinking, rather than by tossing around insults and piling on NRA talking points, as you do. If you want people to understand how you think, try to explain it–using words.

          • whodatbob

            Read the last paragraph of my prior post it explains all. I think the NRA is as harmful to the antigun control cause as Biden and Bloomberg is to the gun control cause. Again you continue to make an ass of yourself with your assumptions. Try to use facts not misguided assumptions, your post may have credibility.

          • sigrid28

            Still just tossing around insults, are you. They seem feeble indeed coming from such a baseless post. The content of your post is an opinion, not a fact, because you make a value judgment, indicated by the word “harmful,” yet fail to prove that what you think is true. To prove that what you thing is a fact, you would need to produce some evidence. Your opinion is not enough if you want to be taken seriously.

          • whodatbob

            No baseless assumption as your post are. Your frist assumption of my motives was so off the wall it required a response. Your inability to see the error in your baseless assumptions only reinforces my origional opinion of you.