Last year in Wisconsin, a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek and a Brookfield salon/spa were the scenes of deadly shooting rampages. We know that mass murder has been occurring in other states, too.
The horrific shooting deaths of 20 young children and 6 adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut in December stunned the nation.
Too often, guns have been used as weapons of mass destruction in this country. Obviously, more needs to be done to combat gun violence. The status quo is unacceptable.
In the wake of the Newton massacre, President Barack Obama unveiled a comprehensive plan to curb gun violence. The proposal’s key subsections are law enforcement, the availability of dangerous firearms and ammunition, school safety and mental health.
Per Huffington Post:
“In an effort to touch on all four of those elements, the president recommended requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales; reinstating the assault weapons ban; restoring a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines; eliminating armor-piercing bullets; providing mental health services in schools; allocating funds to hire more police officers; and instituting a federal gun trafficking statute, among other policies. The cost of the package, senior officials estimated, would be roughly $500 million, some of which could come from already budgeted funds.
Because these recommendations require congressional approval, the administration is supplementing its proposal with 23 executive actions that will be taken immediately. Those actions include requiring federal agencies to hand over relevant data for a background check system; providing law enforcement officials, first responders and school officials with better training for active shooting situations; directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence; and many more.”
FYI: Thinkprogress has a post titled “Everything You Need to Know About Obama’s Gun Violence Prevention Proposals.”
Any admirer of Ronald Reagan should read the letter from a New York lawyer/ author that was published in yesterday’s Journal Sentinel. It begins:
“ In the wake of the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., many conservatives have shown little inclination to consider new legislation on gun access. Those of us on the right who have expressed receptiveness to new proposals have been criticized within our own ranks.
By the standards of certain modern-day conservatives, however, even Ronald Reagan was a traitor to the Second Amendment and the conservative cause. After all, he signed into law gun restrictions that still exist today and was a strong voice in ensuring passage of others after his presidency.
Reagan is fondly remembered as a defender of the Constitution and of gun rights. However, while remaining true to that underlying belief, Reagan, before, during and after his presidency, supported common-sense gun restrictions that were compatible with the Second Amendment.”
The National Rifle Association, a powerful special interest group, has vowed to fight new gun restrictions and regulations. The NRA has drawn fire for releasing an ad that attacks President Obama and targets his children. The ad calls Obama an “elite hypocrite” because his kids have Secret Service armed protection at their school.
USA Today reports:
“ In 1999, eight months after the Columbine shootings, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told members at the group’s annual convention that armed guards or police in schools should be a “rare exception.’’ After the Sandy Hook shootings, LaPierre announced an NRA proposal to put an armed guard in every school.”
Hmm. Should we accuse LaPierre and the NRA of hypocrisy or flip-flopping?
Joe Scarborough, a former Republican Congressman and current host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe show, is one of the NRA’s harshest critics. He’s slammed NRA leadership for turning the mainstream organization into a fringe group, for releasing the attack ad that refers to Obama’s daughters, and for coming out with a shooting Iphone game for children (over age 4) following the Newton murders.
And last but not least----
The entertaining Jon Stewart in a recent Daily Show segment, rips the NRA and presents some jaw-dropping information regarding the ATF, gun laws and enforcement. It was also interesting to learn what Wisconsin's Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner quietly stuck into the Patriot Act! Whew. Click here to watch a clip. This is a must see!
****Update 1/19 Yesterday brought the news that a Michigan charter school took the NRA's advice following the Newton shootings and hired an armed security guard (a retired firearms instructor) for the school, who promptly left his handgun unattended in a student bathroom. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/18/newly-hired-school-guard-leaves-unattended-handgun-in-student-bathroom/
Today, CNN and other sources are reporting that at least 5 people -- 3 in North Carolina, one in Indiana and one in Ohio -- were injured after weapons went off at gun shows Saturday---- at a time when there's been renewed discussion about private gun sales at such shows. http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/19/us/north-carolina-gun-show-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_t1