The President had a presser unveiling potential Gun Safety Laws and Regulation. Have we finally passed a threshold where we can finally deal with the proliferation of killing machines without hearing the gun fetishists whine about their inability to maintain an arsenal worthy of a military installation that worries police and citizens alike? Will we get a dialogue and not some kind of right wing hate fest? Probably, not … but we’re moving towards restricting some of the worst abuses of some people’s idea of the second amendment.
The White House has published the full text of the president’s proposals [pdf] – and a hashtag #nowisthetime to take the message to social media.
There’s a new White House website on preventing gun violence with smart interactive text and video, state of the art stuff.
The feedback from wing nuttia as well as the usual political questions are getting full court press.
At a White House event at noon, Mr. Obama announced plans to introduce legislation by next week that includes a ban on assault weapons, limits on high-capacity magazines, expanded background checks for gun purchases and new gun trafficking laws to crack down on the spread of weapons across the country.
He also promised to act without Congressional approval to increase the enforcement of existing gun laws and improve the flow of information among federal agencies to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and others who shouldn’t have them.
The announcement was the culmination of a monthlong process that began after the massacre of 20 children at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. In the wake of the shootings, Mr. Obama pledged action, but it was not immediately clear how far he was willing to go in the face of intense political opposition.
Wednesday’s announcement reflected a decision by the White House to seize on public outrage to challenge the political power of the National Rifle Association and other forces that have successfully fought new gun laws for decades.
The president vowed to fight hard for the new gun laws, saying that the country’s leaders are compelled to act by the tragedies of gun deaths across the country.
“In the days ahead, I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality,” he said. “If there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try.”
Mr. Obama opened his call for new gun laws by quoting from some of the letters he received from children — several of whom were sitting in the audience at the White House — urging him to take action on gun violence.
“This is our first task as a society,” Mr. Obama said. “Keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged. And their voices should compel us to change.”
Speaking before Obama, Vice President Biden said “we have a moral obligation” to diminish the prospect that tragedies such as last month’s massacre in an elementary school in Connecticut could happen again.
“I have no illusions about what we’re up against,” Biden said. But he added: “The world has changed, and it’s demanding action.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said his panel would begin examining gun-control measures in two weeks. “In our hearings, we will ensure an open forum for a constructive discussion about how we can better protect our communities from mass shootings, while respecting the fundamental right to bear arms recognized by the Supreme Court,” he said in a statement. “As President Obama has made clear, no single step can end this kind of violence. But the fact that we cannot do everything that could help should not paralyze us from doing anything that can help.”
There are a number of disturbing ads, images, and statements coming from the Gun Fetish crowd including comparisons of the President to Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and Osama Bin Laden. It’s hard to imagine that the right wing could get any more hateful and racist about these measures given that both Presidents Bush and President Reagan have pretty much proposed or signed similar measures. The worst is an NRA political ad that uses the President’s daughters as an example of how well giving school kids armed guards works. Rush Limbaugh was particularly disgusting today. He actually made fun of the children that wrote letters who appeared with the President. He referred to the children as “human shields”.
We knew this would get ugly because the fringe right is ugly. I can only imagine this will get worse as we try to move towards sensible gun safety laws like the rest of the civilized world. The NRA has announced it’s going to mount “the fight of the century”.
LaPierre accused Vice President Biden of lying when he said there would be an open discussion before the administration developed its plan to restrict access to certain weapons and clips.
“The NRA sat in on a White House meeting that was sold to the public as an ‘open discussion’ about how to improve school safety.” LaPierre wrote. “But that was a dirty lie. They didn’t listen to gun owners’ concerns…they didn’t consider any real solutions on how we can keep our kids safe. Instead Barack Obama, Joe Biden and their gun ban allies in Congress only want to BLAME you, VILIFY you, BULLY you, and STRIP you of your Second Amendment freedoms.”LaPierre warned his members about Obama’s plan, saying: “Right now, they’re steamrolling ahead with legislation that would ban your guns, register your ammunition purchases and even force you to register the firearms you already own with Obama’s anti-gun bureaucrats.”