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Monday, October 24, 2016

Following up his speech consoling the residents of Newtown, CT after the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, President Obama took to the White House briefing room Wednesday to announce the creation of a task force led by Vice President Joe Biden, to “come up with a set of concrete proposals no later than January” that will reduce gun violence.

He noted that broad cultural issues and intense divides make any action on the issue difficult. “But the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing,” the president said.

“This is a team that has a very specific task to pull together real reforms right now,” he said.

Hoping to preempt concerns that his task force was just an attempt to push the issue down the road, he insisted, “This is not some Washington commission.” After noting that Biden wrote the 1994 crime bill, which included an assault weapons ban and led to a drop in violent crime, the president listed the issues where there is consensus for action.

“A majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons,” he said. “A majority of Americans support banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips. A majority of Americans support laws requiring background checks before all gun purchases, so that criminals can’t take advantage of legal loopholes to buy a gun from somebody who won’t take the responsibility of doing a background check at all.”

A CNN/ORC International poll released Wednesday confirmed that 52 of Americans polled favor major restrictions on guns or making all guns illegal. 62 percent support a ban on semi-automatic assault guns and also high-capacity ammunition clips.

The president also called on Congress to confirm a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which they have not done in six years.

As he constantly has since he began running for office, Obama made it clear that he is with the “majority” who believes the 2nd Amendment grants individuals the right to bear arms.

“This country has a strong tradition of gun ownership that’s been handed down from generation to generation,” he said, noting that most gun owners are responsible.

“But you know what? I am also betting that the majority — the vast majority of responsible, law-abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few from buying a weapon of war.”

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Copyright 2012 The National Memo
  • It is about time a U.S. President take a serious stand on this issue. The last time a feeble attempt was made to remedy the root cause for the carnage that has been taking place throughout the USA for decades was the Brady Act, and that legislation was diluted to the point of being irrelevant.
    Honestly, I don’t expect much out of this exercise. The only likely concession from the arms industry and the NRA involves banning the sale of high capacity magazines. Other than that, nothing is likely to change.

    • DukeDacat

      It will most certaintly, have the RWNJ’s running around with their hair on fire,
      Shouting ………………………………………….,
      Obama is destroying the 2nd admentment and the gubamit is coming for our guns.

    • S-3

      Here’s hoping… And usually, I’m the one advocating for violence – but yeah. I wouldn’t feel the way I do about things if America as a whole didn’t allow such fascist tendencies and injustices to go on uninhibited!

    • It wont happen if we just sit an talk about it. We, all of us need to push congress and our president to make sure we get rid of all these guns in the streets. We should take it a step further and remove the violent video games from the shelves. These videos teach violence and young people get really into these games. We see violence in everything we watch from the TV, RADIO, GAMES, MOVIES, MUSIC and a lot young people lack the supervision and training from their parents. Since there are so many irrisponsible people we need to pass strict laws for our own protection. Those who use guns to kill, they do it because a gun is the easiest weapon to use. No body contact is needed, just point and shoot. Another reason we have so much violence is because there’s so much hate and anger going around these days. Weapon manufacturers don’t care how many people die or how old they are, they just want to make money. We have to say NO MORE.

  • danh_shellab

    How about in addition to tighter background checks a yearly tax/insurance/license on guns that goes to fund mental health. Then tailor the mental health that treats this type of illness to remove the stigma that prevents all involved with a person with any inkling of this type of mental health concern to want to have them seek treatment for fear of having the loved one, or themselves, forever labeled with the indignity of a mental health issue. The tax/insurance/license funds should also go to fund victims of gun violence and education for gun ownership and mental health issues that arise in gun violence. Every year as part of issuing the gun license the recipient would be given educational materials about gun ownership/mental health/gun violence.
    Also either ban assault weapons again or place prohibitively high tax/insurance on those items along with a huge penalty for not keeping them properly registered.
    The tax should be high enough would reduce gun ownership

  • I do feel that it is important that no one can buy a gun or other deadly weapon without a background check, meaning finger printing………..I also feel that no one should own a gun without first having proper, professional training not family based training……..finally I do agree that assault weapons should be banned……..there is no reason why any one needs to have an assault weapon if they are not actively in the military service.

    • karinursula

      Lets start with Gun shows first. I understand I could buy a gun there without any background check.

      • johninPCFL

        In Va that is certainly true.

    • RobertCHastings

      Some very modest proposals that do NOT threaten responsible gun ownership, do NOT threaten to confiscate ANY guns already inthe possession of responsible gun owners, do not take out of the hand of any gun owner what he feels he needs to protect his family or property, do prevent those who have no business owning or using a gun from obtaining one illegally. How can the NRA (or any reasonable gun owner) object to that?

  • danh_shellab

    oh so the point my last comment, is you can still own guns but you are going to have to pay for that right by funding the resultant posibilities of what a gun can do.

  • stcroixcarp

    While I am in favor or the proposed regulations, we need to do more. Churches, civic groups, politicians, teachers, everyone has to start speaking out against violence. We need to give up violent rhetoric and promote peace and justice.

    • clarence swinney

      I agree. But TV is main source of shows of violence.
      I grew up with two guns cowboys. sixshooters.

  • i live near oakland california and we hear guns going off all night and frankly people, it’s insane- ckb

  • We need action NOW!! Less talk of what might be done!! AND continueually look into all aspects of Violence.

  • It took Australia 12 DAYS to enact a strong law on guns after the killing of 73 people in a massacre. WHAT IS WRONG WITH US THAT WE CAN’T DO THE SAME? Have we gotten so big and so greedy that money is more important than people? I am ashamed of YOU Congress! What a stupid idea to arm teachers supplying more arms to more citizens. I just can’t believe we are this stupid!

    • Patti It is the republican part in congress that have not voted for anything in four years and have kept the country in a recession, the NRA paid millions to the republicans trying to deafeat Obama’s relection. Do you think they will change their ways? They are allready blaming the mentally disturbed, guns don’t kill people do, wrong people just pull the trigger guns do the killing.

      • neece00

        And all the while the NRA is paying millions to defeat gun control and the democrats, the republicans are cutting funding for the mentally illness.

      • clarence swinney

        NRA spent 18 Million petty cash pocket change
        They are broke in cash and character
        Heading for dust bin of history?

    • clarence swinney

      Yes. $$$$$$$$$$$$$ GOD $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • emadis41

    Everyone who lost a child, a spouse or fiancee or a close relative to needlessly gunfire should sue the pants of the gun manufacturers, gun dealers and gun owners.It is obserd to say that the second amendment gives anyone the freedom to kill our innocent children or relatives, as I understand it it allows for the ownership of guns to defend the republic, not to kill one-another. I doubt that this argument will hold in the court.
    However, there still some people who defend guns and say that the teachers and educators should be armed, instead off reducing the gun ownership through screening and outlawing the deadly ammo, and large magazines. (Take TX Gov. who said this just yesterday, Gomer, Gingrich and others.. who say guns do not kill people..( as cars do not kill people), yet they will jail you if you drive without a valid driver license, or if your car suddenly became defective.
    This lad killed his mother, the owner of the guns, did the guns saved her? Then he went to the school and opened fire killing everyone in his path, whether the principal had a gun or not, it wouoldn’t matter, his automatic weapon was much stronger and more deadly.

  • A gun is just a machine for throwing balls. It is designed to kill things for food, self defense, and wildlife management. It entirely depends on the person who is holding it. Shooting is a legitimate hobby and sport protected by the 2d Amendment. The issue is how to reduce or eliminate criminal and lunatic misuse of firearms, given the constraints of the US Constitution. Laws do not prevent misconduct, they just provide for prosecution of the miscreant. Mass shootings are all the result of some deranged person getting a gun and taking it to a place where nobody can shoot back. Perhaps the idea of the “gun free zone” is at fault, because nuts and criminals do not obey such rules. The original purpose of the NRA was to promote firearms expertise. It has failed at that – most Americans, even those who have guns, are woefully ignorant of both the law and of the legitimate and safe use of firearms. NRA operates now from a fallback position – defending the 2d Amendment from those who would limit the right to keep and bear arms. If we are serious about a “well regulated militia”, then firearms law and safety must be mandatory classes in every school. Note that Switzerland is more heavily armed per capita than the USA but has no gun crime, because nearly 100% of the adult male population is in the Swiss militia. Note that Japan, where guns are simply not available, has as high rates of crime and domestic violence as the USA, but all perpetrated with knives and swords. Legally owned firearms in the hands of properly trained individuals are often a benefit to public safety, statistically many more times a year than firearms are used unlawfully. With at least 100 million guns in the hands of about 300 million people, 24,000 unlawful deaths by gunshot is actually a very small number – we exclude the other 20,000 deaths per year, of criminals in gunfights with the law, because those are perpetrators, not innocent victims. There is very little that can be done to prevent a previously unknown nut from getting a gun and going somewhere to shoot innocent people. It is instructive that the Sikh Temple gunman in Michigan was defeated by a man with a small sword (Sikhs all carry one) who, although he lost his own life, stopped the massacre at a body count of three civilians. If two or three of the six teachers in Connecticut had been armed, that perpetrator might also have been stopped at a lower body count. Denying me a gun because you are afraid is like making me put on a sweater because you are cold – it is an interference in my personal liberty, and makes it impossible for me to defend myself if I am the victim of a firearms attack. There are three rational steps – better detection of mental illness with violent tendencies (those so adjudicated on record are already barred from possessing a firearm), better education of the public about what guns really are and are not and how to use them and defend against misuse of them, and trained armed personnel at most or all mass gatherings so that if a gunman shows up there will be people there to fight back. The law says that the police have no duty to be bodyguards of citizens, just to interfere with and stop crime as reported or seen, and the police cannot be everywhere. It was the Founders’ intent that the armed citizen be the first line of defense against nuts with guns. Changing that now will require rewriting the Constitution. When there is somebody shooting at you, there are only two things that work – one is getting behind impenetrable cover, the other is returning fire. There is nothing like well aimed return fire for ruining a mass shooter’s plans. When there are hazards that cannot be prevented, we must prepare to mitigate them when they happen. This is not an ideal world – the guns are there already, too many to get rid of even if it were lawful to try, the nuts are out there, too many to search for and lock up even if it were lawful to try, and the police are too few to arrive at the scene before the nut has emptied his first magazine into the crowd. The events are emotionally horrific, but the solution must be rational and fact-based or it will do more harm than good.

    • All of you that think teachers need to go around armed are doing nothing but advocating more violence not doing anything to do away with violence. Teachers have been known to snap just like everyone else has a chance of doing. A teacher had a break down in one of our schools and was threatening students, other teachers and even the police when they confronted him, luckily he didn’t have a gun but he was throwing everything he could pick up and hurling at others hitting several with his missiles. Think of the deaths there would have been if he had been armed with a gun or guns . Also you aren’t considering the fact that a student or anyone else in the school could attack the teacher with with the gun from the back and take the gun and kill the teacher and at least 5 more depending on may bullets the gun would fire. There has to be common sense used when it comes to guns and it seems like most gun addicts do not have any common sense. Wanting to own more and more guns is an addiction just like drug addicts are addicted to drugs. There needs to be another ban on military type weapons, a better training program for people that carry guns, a mental check should be done at least twice year to make sure that everyone is still mentally fit to have guns, gun owners should have to spend 8 hours at least in the emergency treatment rooms at a hospital that handles most of the gunshots in their town and at least 4 hours in the morgue to see what bullets do to the inside of the body. That might make them think twice before they start shooting because they want to a hero or to have 15 minutes of fame.

    • johninPCFL

      Sure. So, nuclear weapons are an even better form of self-defense. It’s a limitation on your personal liberty that you can’t have them either. So, maybe there’s a limit on what your “personal liberty” can have.

      Maybe, 30 shots before you have to stop killing innocents and reload is too much “personal liberty”. I remember having guns in my youth that held a maximum of 9 rounds, so you only got to kill 9 people before you had to stop and reload before continuing the killing. For the defenders, that means that every nine deaths gives them an opportunity to stop the killing. Is that too much of a limitation on you?

      “well aimed return fire”? How about imprecisely aimed return fire because it’s your first time in combat? How about shoot-throughs while returning fire? Is it OK if the teachers you arm accidentally kill a few students while “defending” them? Do the taxpayers pay for arming and training the teachers, or does it just become another job responsibility that the teachers pay for? Does the teacher chosen to be “school defender” get hazard pay?

  • banassualtweapons

    I absolutely believe that we need to reign in the amount of assault style weapons possessed by US citizens. There is absolutely no reason to have weapons like that unless there is an overriding fear the government of our country is out to deprive you of our human rights. 200 plus years of history and a legal system that is set up to prevent that possibility should dissuade them of those fears, yet they persist. At this point they are actually on the verge of becoming completely un-American in their distrust of the government, almost criminal in a sense.
    But this problem really has much of it roots in how we treat mental health issues. Believe me, I know firsthand what it is like to have someone with a mental health issues in your family. My older brother had a terribly violent and terrifying period of mental instability from the ages 13-25. My parents did everything they could to keep him from being labeled as mentally ill out of a fear that it would ruin his life. Well it didn’t work out too well, he made home life horrible for the rest of us and destroyed whatever semblance of a family we had. He is now 60 living independent, deeply religious having been born again in his late 40’s and scratching out a living on his own after having some on and off again years throughout his life with only some minor alcohol related brushes with the law, but never again displaying the violent tendencies he had in his youth. My parents fear was he would be locked up forever. Were they right?


  • The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut is a wake-up call to this nation. There is no place for people with mental illness to be cared for other than with their families, small board and care facilities, in jail or on the streets. With all the recent political debates about health care reform, no one has addressed the issue of the mentally ill and what to do with them. Maybe gun control wouldn’t be such a hot button topic when these terrible tragedies happen if there were hospitals and living institutions available for people who are suffering from severe mental illness. If these options were available to families faced with a mentally ill loved one, maybe we wouldn’t have tragedies like this. A great nation is ultimately judged by how well it cares for its most vulnerable citizens. We are a great nation and we need to get back to taking care of those who truly need our help. By that I mean our children, our elderly, our sick, and our mentally ill. Just think of the economic boon if we trained some of the folks who are unemployed and struggling to care for our weak, to build housing for them, to prepare meals and feed them. As I see it, a potential win/win situation if done correctly. The mental institutions which were prevalent prior to Reagan becoming President worked until the ACLU won court cases that favored the mentally ill regarding their right to not be held in a mental institution against their will for a period of longer than 72 hours for observation. Court rulings in this regard effectively closed the mental institutions with the last being closed during the 1990’s and the Federal government delegated the care of the mentally ill to the states. Let’s be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Write your Congressional representatives and demand Congress deal with what to do with the mentally ill, even if the states have to be given the responsibility for doing so with Federal funding as well as state and taxpayer funding through increased taxes. We can do more for our society and it’s time to step up to the plate and do more than we have been doing before more children are killed by the mentally ill.

  • One thing that bothers me is the ones that sell guns and train and want people in all for money new that the president had not said a word on gun control until now .They saying things that go along with the president wanting to take military style weapons away that they sell and charge people to learn how to operate .They are the ones that should have already been out looking and advertising for ways to protect that part of our constitution instead the money they made went into their pocket it is just as responseable for them to have already been doing this as it was for the president to leave them to do some thing with it to insure it . So now we all squeel and fight a long with the unions we are headed for big trouble and we know who is stirring the pot because they are mad at him .

  • greghilbert

    While I understand the frustrated sentiment that ANYTHING is better than NOTHING, I’d bet my life that what will come of this may save a few precious lives, but will prove too little too late to significantly reduce America’s yearly 30,000 gun deaths and 70,000 gun woundings and maimings.

    But you can be certain that Obama Dems and a few Repubs will be spouting propaganda heralding a landmark step in the right direction, and media sycophants will arouse applause from Obama fans and grousings about Repubs, Tea Partiers and the NRA as to why more was not done.

    Rest assured neither the White House nor Congress nor either party will be staging public confessions admitting they’ve done the most they could or the least they could and still maintain their strangle-hold on power. Nor will mainstream media or a conned public demand it of them.

    The situation is analogous to “fiscal cliff”. When all is said and done, the 99% will be on the short end of the stick. The transfer of wealth to the 1% may be slowed a wee bit, but it will continue, as will the slaughter by gun.

    Both are explained by the domination of profiteering elites at the intersection of capitalism, politics, and mainstream media, all of whom are experts in the manipulation of the 99%, Obama fans included.

  • ralphkr

    Yep, gun bans really work well. Australia cracked down on gun ownership in the mid 1990s and it now leads the industrialized world in increase in violent crimes with over 30% of citizens victimized. UK has been long known for strict gun laws (even police were unarmed for decades) and they come in second with 26% of citizens victims of violent crime. The United State didn’t even make the top ten in the list.

    For those of you who think that strict registration and licensing shall magically solve the problem of fire arm violence I would like to bring another item to your attention that is now under strict registration and the users of said item must be licensed in order to curtail deaths and yet over 30,000 people are killed by that death device every year. Of course, I am speaking of the automobile. By the way, the state where I grew up did not have a Driver License law until after the Korean Police Action and our highway toll was up 5 years after DL passed than before.

    The thing that everyone conveniently forgets is that the NRA cliche “If guns are outlawed then only outlaws shall have guns” is true. Only law abiding citizens shall turn in their weapons while absolutely no gangbangers shall turn in their beloved weaponry.

  • I disagree with the president, and yet I voted for him. as I stated before people who are disturbed will find any kind of ways to kill the innocent even children as you remember “Tim” McVeigh use explosives to blow up a government building that had a day care center and yet he did not use guns , and in most cases you cannot predict what a person who is mentally disturbed. will never be able to predict what those individual will do, if just one of those teachers or the principal went through some kind of weapons training and were also carrying a concealed weapon a lot of this would have been stopped at the door of the school before any children or any innocent people lose their life, guns don’t kill people , people kill people and criminals will always find a way to obtain guns or explosives to kill the innocent so in most cases only the law-abiding citizen will be the one analyze, as the ex-Marine I served my time and believe in my right under the Constitution to bear arms. Thank you yours truly AL DIAZ

  • Lot’s of people are proposing different forms of gun control, but no one, that I’ve heard of, is proposing confiscation of all guns. Most proposals are combinations of bans on the manufacture and sale of certain types of guns or on magazines with large numbers of rounds, along with stricter background checks.

    No one that I’ve heard of thinks that gun control can solve all our problems.

    The comparison you make between gun control and traffic laws is not persuasive. Yes, we require people to have a license before they drive, and they have to pass a training course before they can get a license, and so on — and still there are many traffic fatalities. Can we be sure that the licensing requirement does not good? Do you propose that we not require drivers to earn their licenses?

  • Mikey7a

    Before any laws are passed, before any political partisan bullshit, before the end of this week…put an ON duty policeman or active duty soldier in EVERY school in America!

    Don’t tell me we cannot afford it. We are talking about our children, there is no price too high!

    Giving guns to teachers, who have never been in a combat situation, is a recipe for disaster.

    Come on President Obama, this could be your legacy, you CAN go down in our
    history, as the President that began the end of gun violence in America!

  • We have a “National Mental Health Issue.”

    The Vice-President should also evaluate the entertainment industry…video games, rappers,
    movie rating system and television shows in general.

    Youth should be educated–“If you do the crime–you will do the time”

    School Administrators should enforce rules to the maximum–“Zero Tolerance”

    Parents should be read the riot act–they are responsible for their children–not the
    teachers. If their children continually break the rules, parents should be held accountable…
    it all starts at HOME!

    Maybe it time to start spanking Junior little butt–no abuse–just let him know who is

  • problemwpeople

    we should out law all guns and ammunition, , outlaw violent video games, censor violence on television and the internet give up any all rights and freedoms that allow that such behavior incarcerate all who oppose such actions ,, oh wait that’s what happened in NAZI GERMANY before wwII .

  • Take guns away from the american people. Simple as that.

    • Cairndance

      Michael Moore said “Guns don’t kill people, Americans kill people”!

      No civilized country in the world kills as many of it’s own people as Americans with guns!

  • ziggymar

    According to the National Institutes of Health, obesity and overweight together are the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States, close behind tobacco use (3). An estimated 300,000 deaths per year are due to the obesity epidemic…..

    Take AWAY tablespoons.. they have a higher capacity and add to the problem

  • Happy2bback

    Privilege and Responsibly My father used these 2 words consistently through my childhood. It is a privilege to own a gun you need to be responsible when you do keeping it locked up safe handling when in possession. Our Constitution was written when they loaded muskets, and people needed to hunt to survive. I believe that we need to consider everything in this issue “why is a whole generation so violent?” Could it be that we have allowed them to be come anesthetized to death bye allowing then access to violent computer games and videos. The fact that some people actually make a job out of this by playing and watching for hours daily is it warping them to commit these acts? Some issues like gun control need to be done on a NATIONAL LEVEL it’s crazy that you can be legal in one state and be arrested in the next for doing the exact same thing as carrying a gun. Assault weapons should not even be available to police only the military. as for the back ground checks all states need to get on the ball and make sure their computer systems are upgraded there is a backlog in a majority of states in the area of violent mentally ill people not being imputed into the back ground check data base and they can legally buy a gun because the system is broken.

  • Mental health is what we have to fix not the gun owners

  • banassualtweapons

    How about this, like there are fire extinguishers and fire hoses in locked emergency cabinets in most schools, add an emergency self-defense cabinet with appropriate weapons of self-defense. Have 2-3 trained school officials at each school familiar with how to proceed in case of this type of emergency, no different than they would for a fire or other health related emergency. Break the glass and the alarm goes off!

  • It is time to ban guns and quite talking about it.

  • need to move on about guns. Becuuse noe going about it. all they do is talk about it.