WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
Urge Congress to advance federal legislation banning the sale of assault rifles & high capacity magazines.
The goal of this petition is to make illegal the sale of assault rifles and high capacity magazines. While not an indictment of the 2nd Amendment, we feel the time has come to address the ambiguous language allowing citizens the right to bear arms. There can be no practical reason for non-military personnel to own these sorts of armaments.
Created: Dec 15, 2012
SIGNATURES NEEDED: 25,000
DEADLINE: JANUARY 14, 2013
NRA calls for armed police officer in every school
12/21/12 By By PHILIP ELLIOTT | Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s largest gun-rights lobby is calling for armed police officers to be posted in every American school to stop the next killer “waiting in the wings.”
The National Rifle Association broke its silence Friday on last week’s shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school that left 26 children and staff dead.
The group’s top lobbyist, Wayne LaPierre, said at a Washington news conference that, quote, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
A Message from President Obama about Your Petition on Reducing Gun Violence
Bruce Reed December 21, 2012 06:00 AM EST
Ed. Note: Today, the White House responded to a number of petitions on We the People asking the Administration to take action to reduce gun violence in our country. The response is below and can be viewed on We the People here.
In the days since the tragedy in Newtown, Americans from all over the country have called for action to deter mass shootings and reduce gun violence. Hundreds of thousands of you have signed petitions on We the People.
I’m writing you today to thank you for speaking up, to update you on an important development, and to encourage you to continue engaging with the White House on this critical issue.
First, you should know that President Obama is paying close to attention to the public response to this tragedy. In fact, he sat down to record a message specifically for those of you who have joined the conversation using We the People. Watch it now:
On Wednesday, the President outlined a series of first steps we can take to begin the work of ending this cycle of violence. This is what he said:
We know this is a complex issue that stirs deeply held passions and political divides. And as I said on Sunday night, there’s no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. We’re going to need to work on making access to mental health care at least as easy as access to a gun. We’re going to need to look more closely at a culture that all too often glorifies guns and violence. And any actions we must take must begin inside the home and inside our hearts.
But the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. The fact that we can’t prevent every act of violence doesn’t mean we can’t steadily reduce the violence, and prevent the very worst violence.
Vice President Biden has been asked to work with members of the Administration, Congress, and the general public to come up with a set of concrete policy proposals by next month — proposals the President intends to push swiftly. The President asked the Vice President to lead this effort in part because he wrote and passed the 1994 Crime Bill that helped law enforcement bring down the rate of violent crime in America. That bill included the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.
As the Vice President’s Chief of Staff, I’m going to do everything I can to ensure we run a process that includes perspectives from all sides of the issue, which is why I wanted to respond to your petition myself. Two decades ago, as domestic policy adviser in the Clinton White House, I first worked with Joe Biden as he fought to enact the Crime Bill, the assault weapons ban, and the Brady Bill. I will never forget what a key role the voices of concerned citizens like you played in that vital process.
The President called on Congress to pass important legislation “banning the sale of military-style assault weapons,” “banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips,” and “requiring background checks before all gun purchases, so that criminals can’t take advantage of legal loopholes to buy a gun from somebody who won’t take the responsibility of doing a background check at all.”
An issue this serious and complex isn’t going to be resolved with a single legislative proposal or policy prescription. And let’s be clear, any action we take will respect the Second Amendment. As the President said:
Look, like the majority of Americans, I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. This country has a strong tradition of gun ownership that’s been handed down from generation to generation. Obviously across the country there are regional differences. There are differences between how people feel in urban areas and rural areas. And the fact is the vast majority of gun owners in America are responsible — they buy their guns legally and they use them safely, whether for hunting or sport shooting, collection or protection.
But you know what, I am also betting that the majority — the vast majority — of responsible, law-abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few from buying a weapon of war. I’m willing to bet that they don’t think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas — that an unbalanced man shouldn’t be able to get his hands on a military-style assault rifle so easily; that in this age of technology, we should be able to check someone’s criminal records before he or she can check out at a gun show; that if we work harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be fewer atrocities like the one in Newtown — or any of the lesser-known tragedies that visit small towns and big cities all across America every day.
The President said it best: “Ultimately if this effort is to succeed it’s going to require the help of the American people — it’s going to require all of you. If we’re going to change things, it’s going to take a wave of Americans — mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, pastors, law enforcement, mental health professionals — and, yes, gun owners — standing up and saying ‘enough’ on behalf of our kids.”
So let’s continue this conversation and get something meaningful done. If you have additional ideas and are interested in further engagement with the White House on this issue, please let us know and share your thoughts here:
Thank you for speaking out and staying involved.
FLASHBACK: Obama: I Have Expanded Rights of Gun Owners
Dec 17, 2012 1:38pm Devin Dwyer – abcnews
Two months after the January 2011 Tucson shooting, President Obama put into writing the same pledge he made last night in Newtown, Conn. “We have a responsibility to do everything we can to put a stop to” tragedies from gun violence, he said in an op-ed in the Arizona Star.
But in the next sentence, Obama adds this caveat, shedding light on his approach to guns:
“Like the majority of Americans, I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms,” he wrote. “And, in fact, my administration has not curtailed the rights of gun owners — it has expanded them.”
In his first month in office, Obama overturned a 20-year ban on loaded guns in national parks and wildlife refuges.
Licensed gun owners from any state can now carry concealed, loaded weapons on federal land.
Ten months later, as part of an omnibus spending bill, Obama reversed a decade-long ban on transporting firearms by train. Amtrak travelers can now carry unloaded, locked weapons in their checked baggage.
These actions, and others, are what earned Obama an “F” from the Brady Center for Gun Violence in 2010 for “extraordinary silence and passivity” on gun control. But Obama saw the moves differently.
“The fact is, almost all gun owners in America are highly responsible,” Obama wrote in the Star. “They’re our friends and neighbors. They buy their guns legally and use them safely, whether for hunting or target shooting, collection or protection. And that’s something that gun-safety advocates need to accept.”
This outlook offers insight into how the administration will approach what Obama described as the need for “meaningful action” in the aftermath of the Newtown massacre last week.
As president, Obama has always emphasized the need to keep guns out of the wrong hands, rather than restrict the availability of guns or gun parts themselves. In his few public comments on the issue as president, Obama has called for enforcement of existing laws and improvements to the national background check system.
The background check system “hasn’t been properly implemented. It relies on data supplied by states – but that data is often incomplete and inadequate,” Obama wrote in his March 2011 op-ed. “We should in fact reward the states that provide the best data – and therefore do the most to protect our citizens… we should make the system faster and nimbler.
“We should provide an instant, accurate, comprehensive and consistent system for background checks to sellers who want to do the right thing, and make sure that criminals can’t escape it,” he wrote.
Experts say that beefing up the system — and improving its ability to catch mental illness among potential gun buyers — is something that Obama could do right away via executive order. One proposal includes directing more state or federal agencies with knowledge of a person’s mental competency or drug use to funnel that information into one, central background check system.
Other gun control proposals that Obama has endorsed, such as requiring background checks for gun sales at trade shows or banning the sale of assault weapons, would require Congressional approval. In spite of six major shootings on his watch, Obama has not publicly pushed for a renewal of an assault weapons ban or new restrictions on high-capacity magazines.
Press Conference with President Barack Obama
Subject: Gun Violence
Also Present: Vice President Joseph Biden
Location: White House Briefing Room, the White House, Washington, D.C.
Time: 12:01 p.m. EST, Date: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Good morning (sic), everybody.
It’s now been five days since the heartbreaking tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, three days since we gathered as a nation to pray for the victims, and today a few more of the 20 small children and six educators who were taken from us will be laid to rest.
We may never know all the reasons why this tragedy happened. We do know that every day since, more Americans have died of gun violence. We know such violence has terrible consequences for our society. And if there is even one thing that we can do to prevent any of these events, we have a deep obligation, all of us, to try.
Over these past five days, a discussion has re-emerged as to what we might do, not only to deter mass shootings in the future, but to reduce the epidemic of gun violence that plagues this country every single day. And it’s encouraging that people of all different backgrounds and beliefs and political persuasions have been willing to challenge some old assumptions and to change long-standing positions.
That conversation has to continue, but this time the words need to lead to action. We know this is a complex issue that stirs deeply held passions and political divides. And as I said on Sunday night, there’s no law or set or laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. We’re going to need to work on making access to mental health care at least as easy as access to a gun. We’re going to need to look more closely at a culture that all-too-often glorifies guns and violence. And any actions we must take, must begin inside the home and inside our hearts.
But the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. The fact that we can’t prevent ever act of violence doesn’t mean that we can’t steadily reduce the violence and prevent the very worst violence. That’s why I’ve asked the vice president to lead an effort that includes members of my Cabinet and outside organizations to come up with a set of concrete proposals no later than January — proposals that I then intend to push without delay.
This is not some Washington commission. This is not something where folks are going to be studying the issue for six months and publishing a report that gets read and then pushed aside.
This is a team that has a very specific task to pull together real reforms right now. I asked Joe to lead this effort in part because he wrote the 1994 crime bill that helped law enforcement bring down the rate of violent crime in this country. That plan — that bill also included the assault weapons ban that was publicly supported at the time by former presidents, including Ronald Reagan.
The good news is there’s already a growing consensus for us to build from. A majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons. A majority of Americans support banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips. A majority of Americans support laws requiring background checks before all gun purchases so that criminals can’t take advantage of legal loopholes to buy a gun from somebody who won’t take the responsibility of doing a background check at all.
I urge the new Congress to hold votes on these measures next year in a timely manner. And considering Congress hasn’t confirmed a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in six years, the agency that works most closely with state and local law enforcement to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals, I’d suggest that they make this a priority early in the year.
Look, like the majority of Americans, I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. This country has a strong tradition of gun ownership that’s been handed down from generation to generation. Obviously, across the country there are regional differences. There are differences between how people feel in urban areas and rural areas. And the fact is the vast majority of gun owners in America are responsible.
They buy their guns legally, and they use them safely, whether for hunting or sports shooting, collection or protection.
But you know what? I am also betting that the majority, the vast majority, of responsible, law-abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law- breaking few from buying a weapon of war. I’m willing to bet that they don’t think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas, that an unbalanced man shouldn’t be able to get his hands on a military-style assault rifle so easily, that in this age of technology, we should be able to check someone’s criminal records before he or she can check out at a gun show, that if we work harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be fewer atrocities like the one in Newtown, or any of the lesser- known tragedies that visit small towns and big cities all across America every day.
Since Friday morning, a police officer was gunned down in Memphis, leaving four children without their mother. Two officers were killed outside a grocery store in Topeka. A woman was shot and killed inside a Las Vegas casino. Three people were shot inside an Alabama hospital. A 4-year-old was caught in a drive-by in Missouri and taken off life support just yesterday.
Each one of these Americans was a victim of the everyday gun violence that takes the lives of more than 10,000 Americans every year, violence that we cannot accept as routine. So I will use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. We won’t prevent them all, but that can’t be an excuse not to try.
It won’t be easy, but that can’t be an excuse not to try.
And I’m not going to be able to do it by myself. Ultimately, if this effort is to succeed, it’s going to require the help of the American people. It’s going to require all of you. If we’re going to change things, it’s going to take a wave of Americans, mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, pastors, law enforcement, mental health professionals and, yes, gun owners standing up and saying “enough” on behalf of our kids.
It will take commitment and compromise and most of all, it will take courage. But if those of us who were sent here to serve the public trust can summon even one tiny iota of the courage those teachers, that principal in Newtown summoned on Friday, if cooperation and common sense prevail, then I’m convinced we can make a sensible, intelligent way to make the United States of America a safer, stronger place for our children to learn and to grow.
For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/12/19/remarks-president-press-conference
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