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Friday, October 28, 2016

President Barack Obama reinserted himself into the debate over new gun-safety legislation Thursday, forcefully urging Congress to take action on the proposals that he endorsed in January.

Speaking before the advocacy group Mothers Against Violence, Obama argued that “this is our best chance in more than a decade to take common-sense steps that will save lives.” Specifically, he pushed Congress to enact legislation requiring all gun buyers to undergo a criminal background check, and to prevent “straw purchasers” from trafficking weapons. He also alluded to a new assault weapons ban, although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated that he will not include such a measure in his broader reform bill.

“All of [the proposals] are consistent with the Second Amendment,” President Obama said. “None of them will infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners. What they will do is keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people who put others at risk.”

Noting that polls show overwhelming support for the proposals, Obama urged voters to put pressure on their congressional representatives to side with the public. “Ask your members of Congress where they stand on making it harder for criminals and the severely mentally ill from getting guns,” he said, adding that those who disagree with the 90 percent of Americans who support background checks should have to explain why.

Obama’s speech came on the “National Day to Demand Action” on gun control; it also marks 104 days since the shooting in Newtown, which Obama referenced repeatedly throughout his remarks.

“The entire country was shocked, and the entire country pledged we do something about it and this time it would be different,” Obama said. “Shame on us if we’ve forgotten. I haven’t forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we’ve forgotten.”

The president’s full speech can be viewed below:

Earlier Thursday, prosecutors released new documents related to the Newtown shooter, revealing that he had stockpiled 1,600 rounds of ammunition in his home, and took nine 30-round magazines for his assault rifle with him to the school. Although a ban on such high-capacity magazines — which helped the Newtown shooter fire off 154 rounds in less than five minutes — is not expected to be included in the Senate’s larger gun safety bill, several senators, such as Chris Murphy (D-CT), have called for a separate floor vote on the ban.

The documents also reveal that the shooter had a shooting guide from the National Rifle Association in his home. President Obama referenced the NRA in his speech, when he blasted those who are “doing everything they can to make all of our progress collapse under the weight of fear.”

The president wasn’t the only gun reform advocate pushing for action Thursday. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the gun-safety group co-chaired by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, released a new ad featuring Newtown families.

“We need to remember the 26 victims who lost their lives,” one of the parents says in the video. “Don’t let the memory of Newtown fade without doing something real.”

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  • rkief

    Mr President, be prepared for an onslaught of criticism, outright lies, and non-support by the NRA and Republican legislators, and some gun-owners, but be assured that more Americans by far support your moral and courageous stand on remembering the victims of Newtown.

    • gfm2011

      Actually, you are wrong. More liberal vermin such as yourself might support Obama and his thinly-veiled attempt to overthrow the Constitution, but 50% currently want either no change or REDUCED gun control, versus 47% who desire to abrogate our freedom as a knee-jerk reaction to a tragedy.

      The relative “popularity” of the positions has nothing to do with it. If that were important, Obamacare would never have been passed, as 2/3 of Americans were vociferously opposed to its passage. But there is no Constitutional right to Obamacare – and there IS one to keep and bear arms.

      The victims of Newtown also have NOTHING to do with the rights described in the Bill of Rights. They don’t change, as they are God-given, and cannot be taken away by Communist misleaders like Obama.

      • Sand_Cat

        They were “man-given,” by the guys who wrote it and passed it, and I don’t know who or what gave you your unhinged mind.

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        gfm…I dare you to have the guts to read the pro gun posts on this thread and tell us why they are militant, aggressive, hateful and vindictive. It’s time for moderates, centrists and yes…even liberals to demand and end to 4 gun manufacturing billionaires flooding this country with guns. 88 guns for every man, woman and child? And let’s stop pretending that you need a gun for protection. More BS than that the TX long horns can produce in a century. Your kind WANTS guns so you can overturn a civilized society and turn public streets into shooting galleries. Your kind is more liberal than any liberal….You want the most liberal gun rights and yet most of your kind are too cowardly to face the reality that you ask for more rights than you are “entitled” to.

    • howdidisraelget200nukes

      I sure am glad that there are more gun laws than bank regulations. Then again, there are more regulations for a pet owner than the banks also.

    • Also, please remember all the innocent unarmed victms of history’s disarming dictators. Read the books, because there were millions upon millions of men, women and children who were killed in mass by their dear leaders. The US is staring exactly the same thing in the face right now, so do your homework and be completely informed before dragging all of us into another holocaust. Honestly, if you are truly concerned about the children then do something to help those who are also sincere about their well being. Excuse me, but I find it very difficult to argue an issue with people who refuse to see the writing all over the wall.

  • gahoof

    Dear Mr. President,

    I am a registered Republican, and I support your drive to have better, common sense gun control.

    The hysteria from the gun lobby is what is extreme. My dad had a collection of guns. I don’t own a gun. Never have. I live in a part of the country where many of my neighbors (I suspect most) do not own guns. I have asked high school buddies I’m still in touch with; most also don’t own guns. If I did own a gun, I wouldn’t carry it in the street, so how much protection would it serve if I did own one?

    • gfm2011

      Let’s see… If I understand you correctly, you don’t have a gun. You suspect that some of the people you know do not have guns. So, nobody should want to have a gun. Common sense gun control (i.e., the banning of guns) makes sense to you.

      And I’m CERTAIN, absolutely, that you are a “registered Republican.” As if that had anything to do with the unalienable right, as stated in the Constitution, of our citizens to keep and bear arms.

  • Enough politics on the tragic deaths at Newtown, MANY more children are murdered EVERY year by the hands of Illegal trespassers, “immigrants”? than that tragedy, yet Obama & the Democrat party want to grant Amnesty. Secure OUR Borders FIRST & mandatory E-verify……….There was a gun ban in Newtown, what we need are getting all these physopaths off the streets, not useless gun bans.

    • right on

    • english_teacher

      Would you care to cite the statistical source for your statement regarding children murdered annually by “illegal trespassers”? Then, we can compare the actual numbers of Newtown vs. your statement.

  • idamag

    The NRA wants the scared paranoids (they helped to create) be allowed to carry their guns anywhere. It is their right. However, the Constitution was violated for the victims of Santdy Hook. They lost their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    • Their rights were lost by the handi work of a Nut Job Liberal Democrat who never should’ve gotten his hands on a gun and did so Illegally . Hence the argument about more laws would not have stopped this . Also Assault Weapons were not used so why be a bunch of Hypocrite Liberals and poloiticize this so that we can infringe on the rights and freedoms of the law abididng

      • Sand_Cat

        Gee, was one thing in that little tirade of yours true? Not much. Don’t know Lanza’s political affiliation, but I strongly suspect it wasn’t “liberal Democrat.” An Ar-15 is an assault weapon, and the guns were obtained legally by his mother, and even if they hadn’t been, lax control of such weapons – which you obviously support – would have made it much easier for her to obtain them.

        Face it: you’re either a liar, or incredible ignorant, or just plain stupid. Or maybe all three.

        • idamag

          Probably all three.

        • Man you are really stupid …You dont even know that the Liberal media called the weapon found in his trunk a Bushmaster . That weapon wasnt used and was a shot gun moron . Before you call someone ignorant or a liar use some facts stupid

          • Sand_Cat

            I never mentioned a “bushmaster.” Actually, a bushmaster is the largest venomous snake in the Western Hemisphere, but it’s also a name given to an assault rifle.
            And I don’t need to call you ignorant, stupid, and a liar.. your every post screams it!

      • latebloomingrandma

        I know diddly about the gun culture, but pumping 154 bullets into 26 people in 5 minutes is just wrong on so many levels.

      • idamag

        Is there something wrong with debating issues without making it political? The early reports, in the media, said that the shooter had never been a member of any political party. Why can’t you stick to facts?

  • empiremed

    Attorney General Eric Holder used his testimony before a House committee on Thursday to tout the supposed need for new gun control laws to prevent “gun walking,” or the transportation of firearms across the Southern border. But he – and members of the committee – ignored existing laws that already accomplish Holder’s ostensible goals.

    “That is why we need a stronger gun trafficking law,” Holder said in response to questions about recourse against officials who signed off on the gun walking tactic. The tactic was integral to Operation Fast and Furious, which allowed the transportation of roughly 2,500 firearms into Mexico, often with not just the knowledge but the facilitation of federal law enforcement officials, where those guns were given to violent drug cartels.

    Many Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where Holder was testifying for the sixth time on Fast and Furious, echoed the attorney general’s calls for greater gun control. Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) touted legislation they introduced, which would make suspected “straw purchases” – the purchases of guns to be handed off to others – illegal.

    Holder called that bill “a good place for us to start.”

    But neither Holder nor committee members mentioned the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, a federal law already on the books that appears to criminalize the precise conduct undertaken by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in Operation Fast and Furious.

    According to James Steinbauer, a former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer who wrote the Kingpin Act, an extension of the IEEPA, “it is illegal for any U.S. entity or individual to aid, abet, or materially assist — or in the case of Operation Fast and Furious, to facilitate others to aid, abet, or materially assist — designated drug traffickers.”

    Steinbauer detailed some of the law’s intricacies at Pajamas Media in December:

    Based on the July 5, 2010, memo to Eric Holder, it would appear that Fast and Furious facilitated the delivery of weapons to — at a minimum — the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico. The U.S. Department of the Treasury, which administers both the IEEPA and Kingpin Act programs, has designated numerous members of the Sinaloa cartel under both programs. IEEPA prohibitions apply to the U.S. government as well as to individuals, and as stated there are no exceptions within IEEPA programs for unlicensed U.S. law enforcement or intelligence agency operations.

    There is a provision in the Kingpin Act for “authorized” law enforcement and intelligence activities, however the only procedure by which an Operation Fast and Furious program could have been “authorized” under the Kingpin Act was by the U.S. attorney general requesting a waiver (known within the Treasury Department as a Specific License), prior to any such operation being undertaken.

    But Holder has repeatedly insisted – and emphasized again today – that he was not aware that gun walking tactics were in use at the time. Simply, he could not have requested a waiver allowing the ATF to walk guns without knowing that the ATF was walking guns.

    So laws designed to deter the type of gun walking seen in Operation Fast and Furious – and to punish those who permit it – are already on the books. Additional laws aimed at gun trafficking are therefore unnecessary, assuming, of course, that their purpose is not gun control unrelated to the scandal at issue, but rather to prevent the type of activities that the ATF engaged in, which led to the deaths of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata, and potentially hundreds of Mexican citizens.

  • empiremed

    The districts that contain Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City ranked last in terms of federal gun law enforcement in 2012, according to a new report from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which tracks federal data.

    [READ: Mark Kelly AR-15 Purchase Blocked by Tucson Gun Store]

    Federal gun crimes include illegal possession of a firearm in a school zone, illegal sale of a firearm to a juvenile, felon, or drug addict, and illegal transport of a firearm across state lines. In Chicago, the majority of gun charges last year were for firearms violations.

    The districts of Eastern New York, Central California, and Northern Illinois ranked 88th, 89th and 90th, respectively, out of 90 districts, in prosecutions of federal weapons crimes per capita last year, but it wasn’t always this way. All three districts fell lower on the list than they had been in years past. In 2010, for example, Chicago was 78th in federal weapons prosecutions.

    These cities also have some of the nation’s most restrictive gun laws, as well as the most active mayors in championing gun control. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are all members of the national Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign.

    D.C., which also has tough gun laws, was in the lower half of the list in 2012, coming in at 78th. In 2011, D.C. prosecuted a higher number of gun crimes, coming in at number 49.

    [READ: Assault Weapons Ban Doesn’t Have the Votes to Pass]

    National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre first pointed to the report on Meet the Press Sunday, when he demanded to know why the national press corps wasn’t asking the White House or U.S. attorneys general to explain lax federal enforcement of gun laws.

    His comment didn’t sit well with gun control activists, including the group Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America. “It’s like, ‘don’t look at us, look at gun enforcement’,” says the group’s founder Shannon Watts. “But the NRA works to block gun prosecutions all the time.”

    Requests for comment from the U.S. Attorney’s offices in New York and California were not immediately returned. But the U.S. attorney’s office in the Northern District of Illinois maintains that federal weapons law enforcement is among the top priorities of their office. “We have a number of different methods of attacking gangs, guns, drugs and violent crime,” says spokesman Randall Sanborn, who notes that many gun arrests are reviewed to determine whether the arrest should stay with the county or be brought to the federal level. “We look at which court the defendant is likely to get a substantially greater sentence… More cases that used to be brought federally are now staying in state courts because [they are] now able to get a sentence equally great or greater,” he says.

    [ALSO: DHS Denies Massive Ammunition Purchase]

    The TRAC report notes that many more gun arrests happen at the state and local level than happen at the federal level, and that it’s difficult to assess how many prosecutions happen overall.

    While the districts that ranked lowest last year for federal gun crime prosecutions all contained major cities, the districts at the top of the list for its enforcement were almost exclusively rural. The districts of Southern Alaska, Kansas and Western Tennessee ranked first, second and third in prosecutions of federal weapons laws per capita last year.

    Susan Long, a statistician and co-director of TRAC, said the data revealed a stronger federal enforcement presence in rural areas than urban ones. “If taxpayers of [a certain area] don’t pass strong gun control measures … the feds pick up the ball,” she said. “But now we’ve got sequestration cutting back on all these resources.”

    The U.S. court system has said that sequestration will have a major impact on the federal judiciary, including the furlough of some court employees, cuts to the federal defenders’ office and fewer probation officers for criminal offenders.

    • Sand_Cat

      Maybe lax Federal enforcement just might be related to the fact that the Senators and Congressmen you and your fellow lunatics voted for have completely defunded the agencies primarily responsible for Federal gun enforcement. But nah, that couldn’t be it, right?
      And of course, these same idiots had nothing to do with sequestration, did they?
      And maybe the U.S> Court system has a few problems because – again – your friends have refused to confirm – or even vote on – most of the appointments made in the last five or six years. Those lousy judges releasing all these crooks – if they exist – are Bush appointees.
      You may be even more full of it than your buddy “Michael Stoll.”


      • empiremed

        What good are more laws going to do if you can’t enforce the one’s you have? Just make you feel better?

  • When will Obama stop using tragedy’s visted upon America by Nut Job Liberals who Illegally get their hands on guns as an excuse to take rights and freedoms away from Law Abiding Americans ? Chicago ( where I live ) is the perfect example of why this approach doesn’t work . We have had a gun ban on law abiding citizens here for decades and we have the highest per capita Murder rate in the country . Apparently the bad guys didnt get the memo …or ignored it . If Democrats and Liberals were really concerned about gun violence they would go after the criminals and their own Party’s Nut Jobs who own guns . In every single recent mass shooting all the shootrers were either registered Dems or raised by Liberal parents . Maybe we should ban assault Democrats . The real approach would be to enact and enforce tough sentencing laws so that even hard core Democrat gang bangers would be afraid to even carry a gun . Most of the UUW cases prosecuted in the Chi result in Suspended Sentences , Probation , Community Service , and or Boot Camp . When Someone actually gets a sentence the most they can get is 2 yrs . So what they usually end up serving is about 6 mos . That is no deterent to carrying or using a gun Illegally . Obama and the Dem Liberal Approach has NOT worked . Ask anyone from Chicago . Instead of taking rights and freedoms away from Law Abiding citizens its time for 10 year sentences that are enforced . To Politicize cases where no assault weapons were used to try to take rights away from the law abiding is the height of Liberal Lunacy and Hypocrisy . I am ex Law enforcement and grew up a Chicago Dem until that Party went Communist .

    • Sand_Cat

      Well, we can all be glad you’re “ex-” law enforcement. Maybe you’re part of the reason for the poor enforcement you claim.

      • idamag

        Probably a very good reason he is ex-law enforcement. My friends, from Chicago, did not have a lot of respect for the police there and they tell me some very interesting reasons.

    • Sand_Cat

      Maybe the bad guys bought their guns in some “paradise” of second-amendment freedom such as Virginia, or probably someplace similar but much closer.

      And now it’s Dems who own the guns? Let’s add mental illness – projection, at a minimum – to dishonesty, ignorance, and stupidity as your “qualifications” to shout your irrational BS at all of us.

      • idamag

        I used to work for Health and Welfare. People who joined gangs and used guns as weapons did not belong to political parties. To belong to a party you have to think collectively about society. They don’t have that mind set.

      • By the way Chicago had a gun ban for over thirty years . We still have the strictest gun laws in the Nation and are the ONLY State in America without a CCW law . The Extremely undermanned CPD pulls more guns off the streets every year then any other city in America . So hows that liberal utopian gun ban thing working for ya ? They dont have to go anywhere to buy them they are readily available to criminals all over the Chi . You are an ignorant moron who likes to accuse people of lying and not knowing the facts . Even when they live in one of your Socaialist paradises .By the way more and more psychologists are coming to the conclusion that Liberalism is a mental disorder …google it

        • Sand_Cat

          By the way, keep up the lies and ignore the points made by spewing names. As I said before, your every post screams “I am a liar.”

    • idamag

      Lying is not a virtue. The shooter at Tuscan was not even political. The shooter at Aurora had no political party and Adam Lanza was not political. And, I doubt if all the shootings in Chicago are done by Democrats.

      • Oh my god do you people pay ANY attention to real news ? If you are being raised by Liberal Democrats and have those same leanings what would you call them ? You people also know nothing of Chicago but yet feel qualified to comment . And yes most gang bangers in Chicago vote and they vote Democrat . Almost every ghetto in America is heavily Dem . They do a good job of registering gang bangers …What do you think ACORN was about . Look I live here and its apparent you have had no contact with a ghetto .

        • Sand_Cat

          You’ve asked them all, right?

          Well, I guess we know why you like guns: your friends are all thugs from “organized crime.”

  • Rick2101

    I believe too many gun owners scream about their rights, but very little on responsibilities. Everyone seems to agree, at some point, that a gun in the wrong hands is the problem.

    The second amendment:

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    Some argue that “well regulated” does not mean the same today as it did at the time of the founding fathers. For example according to Brian T. Halonen, ttp:// “well regulated” meant something was in “proper working order”. If that is the case then today’s’ gun owners must be, according the 2nd Amendment, in “proper working order” to be protected by the constitution. Does anyone believe that gun owners who allow either by direct action or through negligence are “functioning as expected”, when their guns are used to commit crimes? Gun
    owners are not “well regulated”, “in proper working order”, or “functioning as
    expected” when their guns are used to commit crimes, unless we “expect” gun
    owners to somehow lose their guns, either though negligence or theft. The safekeeping of all guns is the direct responsibility of all gun owners.

    I also believe that some gun owners do not take the responsibility to safeguard their guns seriously enough. Regardless of how the gun owner failed to keep his or her guns out of the wrong hands, it is in my opinion they share in the responsibility of any crimes that are committed with their unsecured/lost/stolen guns.

    Perhaps the insurance industry could offer “Gun Insurance”. If a gun owner’s gun were used in a crime, the insurance company would pay all damages. The insurance industry, since they hate claims, would then come up working strategies so gun owners would actually be “functioning as expected” and safeguard their weapons. With rights comes responsibility.

    To simply hold gun owners responsible for their guns would be a good start.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    When the NRA can use members to robocall the families in Newtown…they show Americans what a bunch of low lifes they really are. LaPierre actually tried to defend such slime ball tactics. And this is the loony who wants no ban on assault weapons?

  • howdidisraelget200nukes

    Obama should put the same effort into creating jobs. He should have put the same effort into investigating the bush administration.

    Obama, the dems and the republiCONs are all the same and they are the problem, not the solution.

    • Lots of jobs will be created by a federal gun ban.
      Just think how many people will be needed to go around & confiscate guns fromt the wing nuts.
      And just think how many jobs will be created making coffins for wing nuts that fight back…and don’t forget their jobs will become vacant also making even more jobs.
      Since the wing nuts don’t want to engage in a discussion of the problem and the solution they won’t be part of the Law making process & will lose their firearms.
      So just keep up the bumper sticker rhetoric, it’s working can’t you tell?

  • howdidisraelget200nukes

    It sounds like the Obama’s do not have any stock in gun manufacturers. If they did, there would be silence.

  • neeceoooo

    I am so sad for the families of the children to think that their deaths are all in vain, that nothing good will come out of it.

  • I still don’t understand why this is going on without resolution when it is obvious the action that must be taken.
    Federal regulation of firearms is necessary. Remove from the States responsibility for firearms licensing & registration. The 2nd Amendment is coming to you compliments of the Federal gov’t. The states are unable or unwilling to enact Law to prevent crazies & criminals from obtaining weapons.
    So move the responsiblity from the states & have one authority, one registration database, one set of rules.
    AND if you want to argue that you have weapions to protect yourself from your own gov’t well, you just failed the mental health test & shouldn’t have guns.