NRA Liars and Congressional Cowards

    by Walter Brasch   President Obama cast off his “No Drama Obama” garb, and became the fiery leader of hope and change that Americans first elected in 2008. At a speech in Hartford, Conn., the President, frustrated by Republican obstructionism, demanded of his audience, “If you believe that the families of Newtown and Aurora and Tucson and Virginia Tech and the thousands of Americans who have been gunned down in the last four months deserve a vote, we all have to stand up.” He demand, “If you want the people you send to Washington to have just an iota of the courage that the educators at Sandy Hook showed when danger arrived on their doorstep, then we’re all … Continue reading

Kids Tell President What To Say In SOTU

The pundits may be getting the attention of what President Obama ought to talk about Tuesday night as he delivers his annual State of the Union address, the nation’s children also are weighing in. The children’s advocacy group  the Children’s Leadership Council (CLC) has put together an online video (“Hear Our Voice”) that features the unscripted voices of youth, aged 5 to 25, telling the president what needs to be fixed now. “The ‘State of the Union’ for America’s Children/Youth is discouraging,” says Alan Houseman , chairman of the CLC, which calls itself the nation’s largest coalition of child and youth organizations, based in Washington. “The ‘State of America’s Future’ is tied to the well-being of our children both now … Continue reading

Gun Control and Terminal Absurdity

The internet is full of articles and video from today’s Senate testimony regarding gun violence. I can’t read them or watch them anymore. One after another the witnesses, both sane and insane, revealed what is wrong with America at the depths of its core: the conservative-liberal schism; our propensity for violence in general and guns in particular; our devaluing of human life, especially that of women and children; the total loss of common sense within our collective polity; our willingness to stage these hypocritical kabuki charades in our legislative chambers, even as people are being murdered outside. In today’s case it was beyond absurd: at the very same time that Gabby Giffords, herself a former congressional legislator from Arizona, was … Continue reading

President Obama Stays on Message With Gun Control

President Obama used his weekly address to the nation to stay on message with gun control today. In his address he said: “My administration is taking a series of actions right away — from strengthening our background check system, to helping schools hire more resource officers if they want them, to directing the Centers for Disease Control to study the best ways to reduce gun violence,” Obama said. “But the truth is, making a real and lasting difference also requires Congress to act — and act soon.” President Obama urged Congress to pass legislation that requires “a universal background check for every gun buyer, ban assault weapons and limit magazines to 10 rounds and appropriate more federal funds to get more cops … Continue reading

Sandy Hook and Gun Control: Will This Time Be Different?

  It has now been one month since twenty 6-and-7-year-old children and six adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The grief and outrage following this second deadliest school shooting in US history was predictable – and also perhaps different. Since the Columbine shooting in 1999 there have been more than forty School shootings in the United States, including Virginia Tech where 33 were killed. In his remarks at the Newtown memorial service the President referred to four mass shootings that have occurred on his watch: “Since I’ve been president, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by mass shootings, fourth time we’ve hugged survivors, the … Continue reading

Mayors Air Gun Control Ad on Tucson Shooting Anniversary

Although former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband took the spotlight Tuesday, a group of U.S. mayors added their weight to press for stronger restrictions on gun ownership on the anniversary of the day she and others were shot in Tucson, Ariz., with a coordinated TV ad effort. Two years after the Tucson mass shooting in which six were killed and left Giffords fighting for her life, Mayors Against Illegal Guns released a new television ad featuring Roxanna Green , mother of Christina-Taylor Green , the nine-year-old girl murdered that day.  The 30-second spot opens with a scene from the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in which 20 children were killed.  In the ad, Green demands that elected officials … Continue reading

Obama Launches Gun-Violence Task Force

At a press conference this morning President Obama said “he would make gun control a “central issue” as he opens a second term” and he announced the formation of a special task force on gun violence, to be headed by Vice President Joe Biden. Obama’s announcement came as  “House Republicans restated their firm opposition to enacting any new limits on firearms or ammunition, setting up the possibility of a philosophical clash over the Second Amendment early in Mr. Obama’s second term.” President Obama noted that the task force “will formulate a package of policy recommendations by January.” The announcement came five days after the deadliest elementary school shooting in American history. “The fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse … Continue reading

A Brief Review of 2012: The Gun Culture of America

 Jan. 8, 2011, Tuscon, Ariz.:  A man had gone to a political town meeting at a supermarket, with the intent to murder Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. He killed six and wounded 14, including Giffords, who was shot in the head. On Jan. 25, 2012, Giffords, still in recovery from the shooting, walked onto the House floor to a standing ovation. Congress and the President have no plans to restore the assault weapons ban that expired under the Bush–Cheney Administration or to tighten gun laws. April 2, 2012, Oakland, Calif.: A 43-year-old former nursing student entered a classroom at Oikos University, killed seven and wounded three. The suspect used a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun. There are more than 310 million weapons in … Continue reading