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Obama Calls for Action on Gun Violence

Obama Calls for Action to Curb Gun Violencei
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January 14, 2013
Tuesday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is expected to unveil recommendations for curbing gun violence in America, which claims thousands of lives each year. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the recommendations come one month after a deadly shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school that re-ignited a long-simmering debate on gun control.
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Michael Bowman
Tuesday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is expected to unveil recommendations for curbing gun violence in America, which claims thousands of lives each year. The recommendations come one month after a deadly shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school that re-ignited a long-simmering debate on gun control.

Gunfire erupted on December 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a heavily armed young man shot and killed 20 children and several school administrators. The entire nation recoiled in grief and horror.

Days later, President Barack Obama issued a call to action.

“We cannot tolerate this anymore.  These tragedies must end," he stated. "And to end them, we must change.”

As victims were laid to rest and the country continued to mourn, Obama appointed Vice President Joe Biden to head a task force on preventing gun violence.

“If our actions result in only saving one life, they are worth taking,” said Biden.

Biden has met with a broad spectrum of interested parties in the gun-control debate, including gun rights advocates. Far from restricting access to firearms, the National Rifle Association urges a greater armed presence in America’s schools.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said NRA chief Wayne LaPierre.

Others say steps can be taken to keep the most lethal weapons out of the hands of evildoers without strangling Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms.

“NRA members know there are solutions to this problem that exist without taking away the right of any law-abiding citizen to own a gun,” said gun-control advocate Dan Gross.

Possible recommendations from Vice President Biden include banning assault weapons as well as high-capacity ammunition clips, strengthening regulation of gun sales, and improving U.S. mental health services.

Firearms merchants report a spike in purchases by gun owners who fear stricter laws will soon be enacted.

Solutions to gun violence crafted in Washington will be only marginally successful, according to analyst Trevor Burrus.

“I am most afraid of doing cosmetic legislation. There is a very big temptation in these situations to do something like an assault weapons ban," he explained. "And say, ‘We did something. Let us pat ourselves on the back and go home,’ even though this is not going to solve the problem.'”

But the post-Sandy Hook mobilization extends well beyond the nation’s capital. Some states, like New York, are considering tougher gun-control laws of their own.

“It is simple. No one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer. And too many innocent people have died already," said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.. "End the madness now!”

The Sandy Hook shootings stunned a nation long accustomed to gun violence. Vice President Biden’s recommendations come at a time of continued universal outrage over the incident. But congressional consideration of his proposals will likely occur later in the year, when the immediacy of Sandy Hook may have faded.

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by: surlyujest from: Arkansas
January 14, 2013 12:10 PM
All you hear is "gun violence" -- not knife violence or fist violence or hammer violence. How about our government get a handle on VIOLENCE. Quit letting criminals that commit violent crimes off easy. If the parole board releases an inmate, hold THEM accountable. If a lawyer gets a criminal off, hold HIM/HER accountable. Fire them immediately or disbar them.


by: shooter X from: miami florida
January 14, 2013 11:22 AM
anyone against guns really needs to consider our rights as americans. without the second amendment we are basically sweden.


by: Just Kyle from: Ohio
January 14, 2013 10:29 AM
Once again our elected officials operate under the misguided notion that laws "prevent" crime, and thus making more laws will prevent more crime. Laws only deter crime, not prevent it. And since the penalty for illegally obtaining a weapon will always be less than the penalty for killing someone with that weapon, new guns laws will have little to no effect on crime rates. The real problem, as others have said, lies in the mind of the killer. But that's a problem far too difficult for our elected leaders to try to fix, so better for them to posture and pose and come re-election time they can say, "Hey look. We did something."

In Response

by: surlyujest from: AR
January 14, 2013 12:46 PM
You are absolutely right on this -- it's been proven repeatedly. Laws only work on "law-abiding" people. Congress continues to treat us like we're a bunch of id10ts.


by: Question
January 14, 2013 9:42 AM
How many of those gun related crimes are committed by law abiding citizens? How many even obtained the gun they used legally?

I don't own any guns myself, but as a data guy these sensationalist statistics are a joke. This law is like the one in Texas requiring criminals to give their victims 24 hours notice before committing the crime.

Making it a crime to commit another crime is silly.


by: sierraglen from: sierranevada
January 14, 2013 9:26 AM
Gov Cuomo does us all a dis-service by trying to divert attention away from the 2nd Ammendment ramifications of a "crackdown" on gun ownership by saying "No one hunts deer with an assault rifle". The 2nd ammendment doesn't guarantee our right to hunt, it guarantees our right to bear arms to protect us against tyranny. Are historians going to link Mario and Barack with Adolf, Joseph and Mao?

In Response

by: awp5551212 from: Missouri
January 15, 2013 3:23 PM
Actually for years, my nephew, a state highway patrolman hunted with an AR-15. I'm not a hunter but do teach Hunter Education. Any type centerfire rifle or pistol may be used for hunting as long as the magazine contain no more than 10 cartridges.


by: Jeff Bham
January 14, 2013 9:24 AM
The right to bear arms includes defending the people against an unjust government and defending your family and property in times of catastrophe, war from a foreign power and civil unrest.
I seriously doubt the government will be there to protect my family after a major earthquake, Hurricane or in time of war, and yes even against other Americans that are in desperation due to unforeseen calamity such as a break in the food supply.

Criminals will always have access to guns. If you take guns out of the lawful American reach then only the unlawful will wield that power. Deer hunting is for hunters, assault weapons are for lawful American citizens to protect their families.

Make the gun owners responsible for their weapons. If they allow a criminal or mentally ill person access to weapons then let them stand with the accused and suffer the same fate. This would surely encourage better gun safety and control.


by: joep222
January 14, 2013 9:21 AM
Why doesn't Obama call for a curb for drunk driving? Far more people are killed in drunk driving incidents than gun violence.

Or curb obesity? Far more people die from health related incidents due to obesity than gun violence.


by: CeciltheDiesel from: North Carolina
January 14, 2013 9:20 AM
Biden and his "panel" will have the same old recommendations of registration, limitation and confiscation. There will be nothing new here, because all of the foolish, expensive, liberty-limiting ideas have already been used. There is no solution here and they are not willing to face the truth of the real solution


by: CitizenUSA...not China from: Maine
January 14, 2013 9:18 AM
I predict that no matter how much the silent majority want real gun reform, the dictator in the House of Representatives (John Boehner) won't ever allow the legislation to reach the floor for an up Vs down vote. Obama could even promise to end all taxes on Corporations and Boehner would stop it. Obama could promise to give the White House to the Koch Brothers and Boehener himself wouldn't allow it to go for a vote.

Comrade Boehner thinks he was elected President.

In Response

by: Deedee Rains from: Arizona
January 14, 2013 9:39 AM
There is a document called the Bill of Rights, in another document called the Constitution. Boehner controls nothing. Revisiting ideas that truly don't "work" and unfortuanately will only effect the law abiding is criminal. Ask the Albanians and the Rwandans about being unarmed when thugs still have theirs. Silly "citizen".


by: Eton Simon from: New York
January 14, 2013 9:13 AM
Improving the US mental health system is the key to the prevention of violence. 'Violence begins in the mind first before it manifest in the behavior".
All violence stems from a biological or Psychological source therefore we need to look at the source for the solution to violence and not so much focus on the symptoms....If we are to solve this problem.

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