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Obama calls for middle ground on gun control



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

McClatchy Newspapers

DENVER

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Comments

1dmacker(224 comments)posted 1 year ago

Unfortunately the President's idea of the middle of the road compromise is "my way or the highway".
His stated agenda is and always has been gun control. He spoke of people who take absolute positions on gun issues. The president needs to play back the tapes of himself and Joe Biden about their plans for gun control since he took office and especially after the recent tragedies. Connecticut needs to look at what gun control has done for Chicago in preventing criminals from using guns to kill and maim. The President needs only to look in his own back yard to judge the merits of strict gun laws in controlling the gun criminal.

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2KSUgrad(144 comments)posted 1 year ago

@dmacker,
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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3dmacker(224 comments)posted 1 year ago

Since you mention Connecticut, no law is a done deal until all of the challenges are heard in court. This is just another step forward for those that want the Government to feed, cloth, house us and keep those evil guns from harming us. Why provide for ourselves when the Government can do it and we know how well they have done in other areas. Fraud and abuse is out of control and both parties are responsible.
Health care is doubling in cost under the Government plan. Energy costs are doubling and more. The tax code now requires a CPA to prepare your taxes for those that actually pay taxes. Social Security is drying up for those that payed into it because it is being payed out to those that didn't pay a dime. Now we can't call those here illegally, illegal immigrants and soon we won't be able to call criminals by that term because it offends their sensibilities and their self esteem.
You are correct for now, Connecticut has the strongest law in the land. Much like the city of Chicago has one of the strongest gun laws and how has that been working for them? By the way it's the criminal misuse of firearms that is the problem, a mere transfer has never killed anyone. The illegal transfer of guns has been against Federal law since 1968. Instead of addressing the criminals who misuse guns we keep passing new laws that only affect those who abide by the law. Politicians like to quote how many background checks have prevented criminals from buying guns. However, very few of those criminals have been prosecuted for perjuring themselves on that Federal form. They simply go on and steal a gun to commit their crime. With no enforcement of existing "background check" laws why pass more of the same. It only affects the law abiding and costs them time and money to transfer a firearm even to a family member.
Will they next require background checks for those that intend to steal a gun?
The "dangerously mentally ill" have been responsible for most of the recent tragedies yet the Federal HIPPA laws prohibit identifying those people and will likely keep them out of any data base intended to prohibit them from obtaining firearms unless they have been adjudicated as such. Registering guns bothers many of us yet this state law will require the registering of some magazines. The data base has been created and adding guns could be the next step. Do you really believe the Government will simply throw away all of the personal data collected from those background checks? We need only to look to world history to see the danger of that. As a law abiding citizen I find it troubling that someone at a desk in a big city is deciding how many bullets they think I should have to protect me and my family should the need arise. Additionally, if the Brady Bill prevented the criminal misuse of firearms we wouldn't be having this discorse. I do thank you for sharing your opinion and for considering mine with respect.

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4KSUgrad(144 comments)posted 1 year 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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