News / USA

US Defense Secretary Backs Gun Control

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks with members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy, Jan. 17, 2013.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks with members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy, Jan. 17, 2013.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama is getting some reinforcement on his controversial gun control proposals from his defense secretary.
 
Leon Panetta told  U.S. troops in Italy it is clear something needs to be done to protect school children so "that the nuts that are out there will not use these kinds of weapons to wipe them out.”
 
Panetta also told the troops the president's proposals as common sense.
 
“There are areas like armor-piercing bullets," he said. "I mean, who the hell needs armor-piercing bullets except you guys in battle?”
 
Panetta's defense of the president's proposals came in response to a question from one of the soldiers with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.
 
President Obama's plan calls for a ban on assault weapons and for universal background checks for anyone wanting to purchase a gun.
 
Panetta told the troops he is a believer in the Second Amendment, which gives Americans the right to own guns, and that he does not think Obama's proposals are an attack on that right.
 
“I am a hunter. I go out. I've gone duck hunting since I was 10 years old, and I love to hunt," Panetta said. "I love to share that joy with my kids, but for the life of me I don't know why people have to have assault weapons.”
 
The National Rifle Association, the largest U.S. gun rights lobbying group, has been critical of gun control efforts, saying "gun control schemes have failed in the past and will have no impact on public safety and crime."
 
Earlier this week, the NRA launched an ad campaign to preemptively attack the president's plan. The ad calls Obama an "elitist hypocrite" for allowing armed security guards to protect his school-aged daughters, while rejecting a proposal for armed guards in every school.
 
The White House has called the NRA ad "repugnant and cowardly."
 
Obama Wednesday called for lawmakers to quickly pass several proposals, saying keeping children safe is "our first task as a society."
 
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio issued a statement Wednesday saying "Nothing the President is proposing would have stopped the massacre at Sandy Hook [in Newtown]." Rubio also pledged to "oppose the President’s attempts to undermine Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms.”

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid