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Obama calls for middle ground on gun control

Published: Thu, April 4, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

McClatchy Newspapers


President Barack Obama appealed to Americans to set aside “the people who take absolute positions” on gun issues and “put ourselves in the other person’s shoes,” as he appealed for compromise to revive flagging hopes for new gun-control measures.

Urban residents who fear gun crime need to listen to those in rural areas who have grown up with guns as a positive part of their lives, Obama said. But at the same time, gun owners need to “understand what it feels like for that mom whose son was randomly shot.”

“We’ve got to get past some of the rhetoric,” Obama said, that “breaks down trust and is so over the top that it just shuts down all discussion.”

Negotiations in the Senate over gun-control measures backed by Obama have stalled over expanded background checks for gun purchases. Opponents of background checks say they fear that if the law requires individuals to document the sale of most firearms, those receipts eventually could form the basis of a national system to register gun owners. Supporters repeatedly have denied that would happen.

As the talks drag on, administration officials worry that their efforts are losing momentum. Some polls that showed public support for new gun measures rising after last year’s mass shootings now have shown declines.

In an effort to give new impetus to the campaign, Obama flew here and plans to speak next week in Connecticut, where the shootings of schoolchildren and their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School still are a painfully fresh memory.

Colorado, too, was the scene last year of a highly publicized mass shooting, in which 12 people were killed and 58 injured at a movie theater in the suburb of Aurora. In response, the state Legislature recently adopted and Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper signed gun- control legislation similar to some of Obama’s proposals.

Speaking after he and Attorney General Eric Holder met privately with families of some of the Aurora victims, Obama held Colorado up as an example of a gun-loving state that still embraces “common sense” curbs on firearm and ammunition purchases.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


1KSUgrad(144 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Connectict is no longer debating - done deal.
Your assertion might have some merit if you could tell me where "his stated" agenda is gun confiscation.

Control, yes; confiscation, no.

Are you against gun control? Do you hold that the Brady law is bad (because it controls firearms)?

Gun crime is rampant in Chicago because of the uncontrolled transfer of weapons. So wouldn't it make sense to try to control the transfer of firearms?

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2KSUgrad(144 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

@dmacker, I will concede that the bills that were signed into law may be challenged. But I have not heard of any attempts to obtain an injunction, and many of the provisions are effective immediately. Doesn't mean that challenges won't occur, how successful they might be is another matter entirely.
I remember the animus over the Brady Act and the threats of challenges, and yet here we are 20 some odd years later and Brady is still the law.

The Federal HIPPA laws does not “prohibit identifying those dangerously mentally ill” and certainly does not keep them out of the NICS records. Just today we learn positively that Dr. Lynne Fenton reported to Officer Whitten of the University of Colorado police that James Holmes was a danger to the public. According to the search warrants in the Aurora case, "Dr. Fenton advised the police that through her contact with James Holmes she was reporting, per her requirement, his danger to the public due to homicidal statements he had made" well in advance of his rampage . The key thing there is that the Dr. was required to report, regardless of any HIPPA regulation. Did the police drop the ball – you betcha!
As for NICS, they have access to several records databases, NCIC being one. They may see that a person is deemed dangerously mentally ill; however they cannot use that as a basis to issue a denial because the law person was not adjudicated “dangerously mentally ill”. That was one of the things that the NRA fought over in 1994, and that is one of the items that they object to today (evidenced by Sen Graham’s (R-SC) bill to limit who is considered mentally ill).
What is odd about the mental reporting is that while Ohio has 27,000 mental records submitted to NICS, Pennsylvania has only 1 and Kentucky only 81 (as of 10-31-2011). Prior to the Virginia Tech massacre, the state of Virginia only submitted 12 records to NICS, within a month of the Virginia Tech shooting the state ordered its department of public health to send records to NICS. Virginia has submitted over 160,000 mental health records to NICS. The problem of submitting mental health records is not at the federal level, it’s at the state level.

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