Democrats Filibuster for Common-Sense Gun Reform

Dems take over floor to protest Senate inaction on gun control

 June 15, 2016, 12:04 pm By Jordain Carney – TheHill

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and other Democrats have taken over the Senate floor to call for tougher gun control laws and specifically action on keeping people on terrorist watchlists from buying firearms.

“I’m prepared to stand on this floor and talk about the need for this body to come together on keeping terrorists away from getting guns … for, frankly, as long as I can, because I know that we can come together on this issue,” Murphy said in beginning the filibuster on Wednesday.

Murphy began speaking at about 11:20 a.m., and the filibuster was still going at 2 p.m.

Other Democrats who joined him included Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Joe Manchin(W.Va.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Al Franken(Minn.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Ben Cardin (Md.) and Ed Markey (Mass.).

It also won support from presumptive Democatic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

The Senate is currently considering an appropriations bill for the Commerce and Justice departments and science programs. Though no votes are currently scheduled, the senators are blocking any amendments to the bill.

“I don’t think we should proceed with debate on amendments to this bill until we have figured out a way to come together,” Murphy said, referring to the spending bill.

The Democrats are also technically blocking Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) from ending debate on the legislation, though a spokesman shot down any speculation that the Republican leader would have tried to wrap up work on the spending bill Wednesday.

Democrats have given no indication how long they plan to hold the Senate floor. Chris Harris, a spokesman for Murphy, said Democrats launched the talkathon because the senator will no longer accept “inaction or half measures in the face of continued slaughter.”

The effort comes three days after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. A gunman armed with a Sig Sauer MCX rifle and a handgun on early Sunday killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub. 

Murphy is well-known for his support for tougher gun control laws. One of America’s most shocking gun crimes occurred in his home state in Newtown, where 20 children and six adults were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“I can’t tell you how hard it is to look into the eyes of the families of those little boys and girls who were killed in Sandy Hook and tell them that almost four years later we’ve done nothing, nothing at all,” Murphy said.

For more:

June 12, 2016

June 15, 2016 

June 16, 2016 

June 20, 2016

June 21, 2016

  • 1:50 PM EDT
    Senate Bipartisan Gun Control Proposal Maine Sen. Susan Collins says she hopes the House will give her bipartisan proposal to prevent individuals on the no fly list from buying a gun a vote. She reminded her House colleagues that a majority of Americans support such legislation. The Senator was joined by seven other Senators from both parties for this proposal unveiling. A vote on the Senate floor has yet to be determined.

June 22, 2016

June 23, 2016

June 29, 2016

  • Democratic Law Makers ‘Day of Action to Keep Spotlight on Gun Violence’ by any means whether it be a press conference, roundtable, or telephone town hall in 30 cities across America
    • 9 a.m.  MT –  Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego holds a press call with gun violence prevention advocates.
    • 10 a.m. – Maryland Reps. Elijah E. Cummings, Chris Van Hollen, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes hold an event with gun violence survivors and local faith and community leaders in Baltimore.
    • 10 a.m. – Connecticut Reps. Elizabeth Esty and Rosa DeLauro and Governor Dannel Malloy hold a press conference with gun control advocates at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington.
    • 10:30 a.m. – Pennsylvania Reps. Brendan Boyle and Robert Brady will hold an event at city hall in Philadelphia with Mayor James Kenney and local gun violence survivors. Boyle plans to stream the event live from his Facebook page.  10:30 a.m. – New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. holds a news conference in Saddle Brook with local public safety officials and representatives from gun violence prevention groups.
    • 11 a.m. – New York Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney  hosts a sit-in at a park in the upper east side of Manhattan with gun violence survivors and prevention advocates.
    • 11 a.m. – New York Rep. Steve Israel holds a round-table discussion with local elected officials and gun violence prevention and LGBT advocates.
    • 11:30 a.m. – Georgia Rep. John Lewis holds a town hall in Atlanta.
    • 11:30 a.m. – Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson will hold a meeting at his office in Lithonia with the local chapter of Moms Demand Action. On Thursday, Johnson will meet with local mothers who lost their children to gun violence.
    • 12 p.m. – New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr will hold a symbolic sit-in with constituents in his district office in New Brunswick  to continue the conversation about what can be done to prevent mass shootings.
    • 12:15 p.m. PT – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra and fellow California Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard,  Judy Chu,  Karen Bass and  Alan Lowenthal will  host a round-table at city hall in Los Angeles with local leaders and gun violence victims to discuss ways to secure a vote in Congress to prevent gun violence, followed by a news conference at 12:45 p.m.
    • 1 p.m. PT – Pelosi and fellow California Reps. Mike Thompson, Barbara Lee, Mike Honda and Eric Swalwell, local law enforcement officials, community leaders and survivors of gun violence will hold a “family sit-in to disarm hate” at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.
    • 1 p.m. – Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle holds an event in Pittsburgh with local elected officials, community leaders and advocates.
    • 1:30 p.m. – New York Rep. Joe Crowley will hold a round-table at his office in Jackson Heights with gun violence survivors, prevention advocates and community and faith leaders.
    • 1:30 p.m. –  Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen will hold a meeting in Memphis with local groups concerned about gun violence and local government officials.
    • 2 p.m. – Michigan Reps. John Conyers, Debbie Dingell, Dan Kildee, Brenda Lawrence, and Sander Levin will hold a panel discussion with community leaders in Berkley.
    • 2 p.m. – New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman will host a round-table with community leaders in Trenton. She plans to stream a live feed of the event from her Facebook page .
    • 2 p.m. PT – California Rep. Doris Matsui hosting a virtual roundtable tomorrow with public health experts from Sacramento, CA as part of a National Day of Action to Prevent Gun Violence. The roundtable will be live streamed to the public via a Google Hangout On Air  here .
    • 2 p.m. PT – Washington Reps. Jim McDermott and Adam Smith will join members of the Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and the Everytown Survivor Network for a “National Day of Action” community meeting in Seattle, calling for action to prevent gun violence.
    • 3 p.m. – Rhode Island Reps. David N. Cicilline and Jim Langevin will hold a public sit-in at the Providence Public Safety Complex.  4 p.m. – Connecticut Rep. John Larson holds a call to action with local elected officials and leaders in Hartford. The event will be live streamed via Periscope .
    • 4 p.m. – New York   Rep. Gregory W. Meeks will join Life Camp, a victim’s family, community leaders, civic organizations and members of the clergy to discuss a recent shooting and how to prevent gun violence in New York City.
    • Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) will lead a series of events in San Diego as part of the national day of action against gun violence. Democratic members of Congress are holding dozens of events across the country to continue calling for votes on bipartisan measures to curb gun violence. Congressman Peters was the first member to live-stream the House sit-in protest last week, and has long been a vocal advocate for commonsense gun safety proposals to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, domestic abusers, and suspected terrorists.
    • 4:30 PT: Rep. Scott Peters will tour the University of California San Diego Medical Center’s trauma and lead a round table with medical, domestic violence and mental health professionals. At 7:30 PT, he will deliver remarks during the annual Pride Lighting Ceremony at the UC San Diego Medical Center.
    • 5 p.m. – District of Columbia Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and California Rep. John Garamendi will host a roundtable at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in northwest D.C. with Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier and five District of Columbia residents who have been affected by gun violence.
    • 5 p.m. CT – Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan holds a rally in Madison with local politicians and community leaders.
    • 5 p.m. – Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth holds a press conference and rally in Louisville with local politicians and community leaders.
    • 6 p.m. PT – California Rep. Judy Chu will host an event in Pasadena  called “SPEAK OUT: Enough is Enough” in which public officials, families and victims of gun violence and faith and community leaders will share their personal stories about how they were affected by gun violence.
    • 6 p.m. PT – California Rep. Alan Lowenthal hosts community forum in Long Beach with Mayor Robert Garcia and representatives from the Brady Campaign and Moms Demand Action. 6:30 p.m. PT – California Rep. Tony Cárdenas holds a forum with community advocates in Sylmar.
    • 6:30 p.m. MT – New Mexico Rep. Lujan Grisham holds a rally in Albuquerque.
    • 7 p.m. – Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern will hold a community rally in Worcester  to discuss current efforts at the local, state, and national levels to address gun violence and how members of the community can do their part.
    • 7 p.m. – New Jersey Rep. Donald Norcross participates in the March for Love, a walk in Pennsauken  to honor the victims of the Orlando shooting and spread the message of love and equality hosted by the Camden County Board of Freeholders.
    • THURSDAY 12 p.m. – Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark, state, and local leaders and representatives gun safety organizations will hold a rally on the steps of the state house in Boston.

July 5, 2016

  • Congressional Black Caucus members plan disruptions during ‘Day of Action on Guns
    • CBC Members will give speeches pushing for more restrictions on the possession and use of guns
    • CBC Members will attend a House Rules Committee hearing  where legislation on terrorism and gun control will be addressed and will hold up a image of a constituent killed by a firearm

July 6, 2016

July 7, 2016

July 14, 2016

>>>WH WeThePeople Petition: Ban the AR-15 from Civilian Ownership<<<

Family of AR-15 inventor: The weapon wasn’t meant for civilians

June 16, 2016, 08:53 am By Rebecca Savransky – TheHill

The family of the man who invented the AR-15 rifle says the weapon was never meant to be used by civilians.

“Our father, Eugene Stoner, designed the AR-15 and subsequent M16 as a military weapon to give our soldiers an advantage over the AK-47,” the Stoner family told NBC News late Wednesday.

“He died long before any mass shootings occurred. But we do think he would have been horrified and sickened as anyone, if not more by these events.”

The family said Stoner would have agreed the weapon is a tool of war. Stoner was an “avid sportsman, hunter and skeet shooter” but never used the AR-15 for sport, nor did he keep it for personal defense.

“After many conversations with him, we feel his intent was that he designed it as a military rifle,” his family said.

After Stoner died, the semi-automatic version of the AR-15 began gaining popularity with civilians, NBC reported.

For more:

No Assault Weapon





Ripple of HOPE – Stand Up Against Injustice

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

6/5/1966 Senator Robert F. Kennedy
Day of Affirmation Address, University of Capetown
Capetown, South Africa

RFK HOPE T-shirt:
RFK HOPE T-shirt:
scan from 35mm color transparency
Robert F. Kennedy

Robert Francis “Bobby” Kennedy (November 20, 1925 – June 6, 1968), commonly known by his initials RFK, was an American politician from Massachusetts. He served as a Senator for New York from 1965 until his assassination in 1968. He was previously the 64th U.S. Attorney General from 1961 to 1964, serving under his older brother, President John F. Kennedy and his successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Democratic Party, Kennedy was a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 1968 election.

After serving in the U.S. Naval Reserve as a Seaman Apprentice from 1944 to 1946, Kennedy graduated from Harvard College and the University of Virginia School of Law. Prior to entering public office, he worked as a correspondent to the Boston Post and as an attorney in Washington D.C.. He gained national attention as the chief counsel of the Senate Labor Rackets Committee from 1957 to 1959, where he publicly challenged TeamstersPresident Jimmy Hoffa over the corrupt practices of the union, and published The Enemy Within, a book about corruption in organized labor.

A prominent member of the Kennedy family, Bobby was the campaign manager for his brother John in the 1960 presidential election and was appointed Attorney General during his presidential administration. He also served as a White House adviser to the president from 1961 to 1963. His tenure is best known for its advocacy for the African-American Civil Rights Movement, crusade against organized crime and the mafia, and involvement in U.S. foreign policy related to Cuba and Indonesia. After his brother’s assassination, Kennedy remained in office for a few months until leaving to run for the United States Senate in 1964 where he defeated Republican incumbent Kenneth Keating.

In 1968, Kennedy campaigned for the presidency and was a leading Democratic candidate, appealing particularly to blackHispanic, and Catholic voters. Shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, after Kennedy defeated Senator Eugene McCarthy in the California presidential primary, he was shot by Sirhan Sirhan, a 24-year old Palestinian, and died the following day.

For more:

Robert F. Kennedy Speeches:

Jun 3, 2016

President Obama signs  S. 184, the “Native American Children’s Safety Act,” it amends the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act to require background checks before foster care placements are made by tribal social services agencies.




Measure Requires Background Checks on Adults in Tribal Foster Homes

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven and Congressman Kevin Cramer today announced that President Barack Obama has signed into law S. 184, the Native American Children’s Safety Act, which Hoeven authored and introduced in the Senate. Congressman Cramer then led the effort to get the measure passed in the House. The legislation implements protections for Native American children placed by tribal courts into the tribal foster care system.

“A decade ago, we worked in North Dakota to ensure that all adults living in a foster home were background checked to protect the children in their care, and now we have extended that same safety net for children in tribal foster care in North Dakota and across the nation,” Hoeven said. “Starting today, it’s the law of the land.

“Native American children are more than two-and-a-half times more likely to be victims of abuse or neglect than other American children,” said Cramer. “And, children exposed to violence are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, suffer from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic disorders. The standards in this bill mirror existing national requirements for non-tribal foster care placements, ensuring tribal children receive care at least equal to the protections afforded non-tribal children.”

Prior to today, there was no consistent requirement that Native American tribes conduct background checks on everyone living in a foster care house, yet there has been abuse and harm committed by adults living in the same foster care home as the children.

The Native American Children’s Safety Act requires background checks to be conducted on all adults living in a potential foster home before a tribal court may place a child in that home. The check will include a national criminal records check and a review of child abuse or neglect registries in any state in which the individual under review has lived in the preceding five years.

For more:



Generation Indigenous | The White House





U. S. National Mammal: The American Bison

15 Facts About Our National Mammal: The American Bison

On May 9, 2016, President Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act into law, officially making the American bison the national mammal of the United States. This majestic animal joins the ranks of the Bald Eagle as the official symbol of our country — and much like the eagle, it’s one of the greatest conservation success stories of all time.

In prehistoric times, millions of bison roamed North America — from the forests of Alaska and the grasslands of Mexico to Nevada’s Great Basin and the eastern Appalachian Mountains. But by the late 1800s, there were only a few hundred bison left in the United States after European settlers pushed west, reducing the animal’s habitat and hunting the bison to near extinction. Had it not been for a few private individuals working with tribes, states and the Interior Department, the bison would be extinct today.

Explore more fun facts about the American bison:

1. Bison are the largest mammal in North America

2. Since the late 19th century, Interior has been the primary national conservation steward of the bison

3. What’s the difference between bison and buffalo? While bison and buffalo are used interchangeably, in North America the scientific name is bison.

4.Yellowstone National Park is the only place in the U.S. where bison have continuously lived since prehistoric times.

5. What’s a “red dog”? It’s a baby bison.

6. The history of bison and Native Americans are intertwined. Bison have been integral to tribal culture, providing them with food, clothing, fuel, tools, shelter and spiritual value. Established in 1992, the Inter Tribal Buffalo Council works with the National Park Service to transfer bison from national park lands to tribal lands.

7. You can judge a bison’s mood by its tail.

8. Wind Cave National Park’s herd helped revive bison populations around the country.

9. Bison may be big, but they’re also fast.

10. Pass the salad, please. Bison primarily eat grasses, weeds and leafy plants — typically foraging for 9-11 hours a day.

11. From hunter to conservationist, Teddy Roosevelt helped save bison from extinction.

12. Bison can live up to 20 years old.

13. A little dirt won’t hurt. Called wallowing, bison roll in the dirt to deter biting flies and help shed fur.

14. The American bison’s ancestors can be traced to southern Asia thousands of years ago.

15. Bison are nearsighted — who knew?

For the entire article:


5/9/16 President Obama signs H.R. 2908, the “National Bison Legacy Act,” which adopts the
North American bison
as the national mammal of the United States.


Law Day 2016 – 50th Anniversary

Law Day

Law Day

On May 1 the United States officially recognizes Law Day. It is meant to reflect on the role of law in the foundation of the country and to recognize its importance for society.

Before President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared May 1 to be Law Day, U.S.A., the first day of May was known in some parts of the world as May Day: a day to remember the struggles of workers in their fight for better wages and working conditions. Law Day was originally the idea of Charles S. Rhyne, Eisenhower’s legal counsel for a time, who was serving in 1957–1958 as president of the American Bar Association. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1 to be Law Day, U.S.A. in 1958. Its observance was later codified by Public Law 87-20 on April 7, 1961.

Some countries celebrate May Day on the same date, as it is designated Labour Day or International Workers Day. But on February 5, 1958, President Eisenhower recognized the first Law Day when he proclaimed that henceforth May 1 of each year would be Law Day in the United States. He stated “In a very real sense, the world no longer has a choice between force and law. If civilization is to survive it must choose the rule of law.”. Now, many local bars and legal education associations, such as the Florida Law Related Education Association and the New York State Bar Association, use Law Day as a legal education tool, particularly for students.

For more: .




Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act

Medicare Medicaid 50th

December 28, 2015

Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 1321, S. 2425

On Monday, December 28, 2015, the President Obama signed into law:

S. 2425, the “Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act,” which makes changes to Medicare payments for certain complex rehabilitation technology and radiation therapy services, provide flexibility in applying a hardship exception from meaningful use of electronic health records, and improve Medicare and Medicaid program integrity.


Radiation Therapy Alliance Commends Congress for Passing Legislation to Ensure Access to Radiation Therapy Care for Nation’s Cancer Patients

Legislation is essential step to achieving lasting payment stability for needed cancer care services

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Radiation Therapy Alliance (RTA) – a non-profit organization representing freestanding radiation therapy centers that is dedicated to working with policymakers to advance logical, predictable payment reform to ensure patient access to quality cancer care – today commended lawmakers in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for passing the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act (S. 2425).

The legislation provides payment stability to freestanding radiation therapy centers by freezing Medicare payment rates for the sector in 2017 and 2018 as it transitions to a new, episodic alternative payment model in 2019.  The legislation also requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to submit to Congress a report on the development of an episodic alternative payment model for payment under the Medicare program within 18 months.

The RTA thanked Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Richard Burr (R-NC), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dan Coats (R-IN), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Representatives Tom Price (R-GA), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Kevin Brady (R-TX), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Paul Tonko (D-NY), James Clyburn (D-SC), Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Jim McDermott (D-WA) for their leadership in advancing this vital cancer care legislation.

“The RTA applauds Congress for passing this critical legislation which will ensure patient access to freestanding radiation therapy services across the country,” said Christopher M. Rose, MD, FASTRO, RTA Policy Chair. “Consistent with the legislation, we look forward to working with CMS to craft an Alternative Payment Model for radiation oncology that will ensure access while improving the efficiency and quality of care to Medicare patients.”

Freestanding radiation therapy centers offer patients access to treatments for prostate, breast, lung and other cancers in a convenient and comfortable outpatient setting closer to home, removing the burden of traveling to distant hospitals or specialty centers.

For more:


Congress Simplifies MU Hardship Exemption Process
AAFP Strongly Supported New Legislation

December 22, 2015 03:42 pm – AAFP

Congress provided a bit of end-of-the year cheer to America’s physicians on Dec. 18 when the U.S. House and Senate passed the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act( with the AAFP’s strong support.

The bill includes a provision that gives CMS the authority — for the next few months — to expedite applications from physicians for a hardship exemption related to meaningful use stage two requirements for the 2015 calendar year.

The expedited “categorical authority” applies only to hardship exemption applications filed before March 15, 2016. Stay tuned for more information on the application process as it becomes available from CMS.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and is widely expected to be signed by the President.

“This heralds a reprieve to physician practices that are unable to successfully attest to meaningful use for 2015, through no fault of their own,” said AAFP President Wanda Filer, M.D., M.B.A., in a Dec. 21 statement about the legislation.

Passage of the bill is important to many family physicians because under current law, physicians participating in the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive programs( must attest to meeting meaningful use stage two requirements for 90 consecutive days in 2015.

For more:

Obamacare Sign-Ups Reach 8.3 Million in 2015

December 23, 2015 By Zachary Tracer – insurancejournal

About 8.3 million people have signed up for health coverage through Obamacare’s U.S.-run shopping markets this year, the U.S. said Tuesday, surpassing last year’s total and signaling good news for hospital and health insurance companies.

At about the same point in the enrollment period last year, 6.4 million people had signed up. The U.S. report counts enrollees for 2016 coverage as of Dec. 19 in 38 states that use the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplace, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said. It’s the most comprehensive accounting since a Dec. 17 deadline for people to pick coverage that begins at the start of 2016.

Sign-ups this year are an important indication of how President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul is faring ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

For more:


Medicare, Medicaid turns 50

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration for these programs, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is collecting stories of how Medicare and Medicaid have made a difference for everyday Americans.

Please visit to share your Medicare or Medicaid story.


#Medicare & #Medicaid



Umpqua Community College Shooting

On October 1, 2015, a gun man fatally shot nine people and injured nine others on the campus of Umpqua Community College, near Roseburg, Oregon


Excluding the gunman, nine people were killed in the shooting. They were identified as:

  • Lucero Alcaraz, 19
  • Treven Taylor Anspach, 20
  • Rebecka Ann Carnes, 18
  • Quinn Glen Cooper, 18
  • Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59
  • Lucas Eibel, 18
  • Jason Dale Johnson, 33
  • Lawrence Levine, 67 (professor)
  • Sarena Dawn Moore, 44


Candle light


James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

6:22 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  There’s been another mass shooting in America — this time, in a community college in Oregon.

That means there are more American families — moms, dads, children — whose lives have been changed forever.  That means there’s another community stunned with grief, and communities across the country forced to relieve their own anguish, and parents across the country who are scared because they know it might have been their families or their children.

I’ve been to Roseburg, Oregon.  There are really good people there.  I want to thank all the first responders whose bravery likely saved some lives today.  Federal law enforcement has been on the scene in a supporting role, and we’ve offered to stay and help as much as Roseburg needs, for as long as they need.

In the coming days, we’ll learn about the victims — young men and women who were studying and learning and working hard, their eyes set on the future, their dreams on what they could make of their lives.  And America will wrap everyone who’s grieving with our prayers and our love.

But as I said just a few months ago, and I said a few months before that, and I said each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough.  It’s not enough.  It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel.  And it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America — next week, or a couple of months from now.

We don’t yet know why this individual did what he did.  And it’s fair to say that anybody who does this has a sickness in their minds, regardless of what they think their motivations may be.  But we are not the only country on Earth that has people with mental illnesses or want to do harm to other people.  We are the only advanced country on Earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months.

Earlier this year, I answered a question in an interview by saying, “The United States of America is the one advanced nation on Earth in which we do not have sufficient common-sense gun-safety laws — even in the face of repeated mass killings.”  And later that day, there was a mass shooting at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana.  That day!  Somehow this has become routine.  The reporting is routine.  My response here at this podium ends up being routine.  The conversation in the aftermath of it.  We’ve become numb to this.

We talked about this after Columbine and Blacksburg, after Tucson, after Newtown, after Aurora, after Charleston.  It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun.

And what’s become routine, of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of common-sense gun legislation.  Right now, I can imagine the press releases being cranked out:  We need more guns, they’ll argue.  Fewer gun safety laws.

Does anybody really believe that?  There are scores of responsible gun owners in this country –they know that’s not true.  We know because of the polling that says the majority of Americans understand we should be changing these laws — including the majority of responsible, law-abiding gun owners.

There is a gun for roughly every man, woman, and child in America.  So how can you, with a straight face, make the argument that more guns will make us safer?  We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths.  So the notion that gun laws don’t work, or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens and criminals will still get their guns is not borne out by the evidence.

We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings.  Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours.  So we know there are ways to prevent it.

And, of course, what’s also routine is that somebody, somewhere will comment and say, Obama politicized this issue.  Well, this is something we should politicize.  It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic.  I would ask news organizations — because I won’t put these facts forward — have news organizations tally up the number of Americans who’ve been killed through terrorist attacks over the last decade and the number of Americans who’ve been killed by gun violence, and post those side-by-side on your news reports.  This won’t be information coming from me; it will be coming from you.  We spend over a trillion dollars, and pass countless laws, and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so.  And yet, we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths.  How can that be?

This is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in America.  We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction.  When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer.  When Americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we make communities safer.  When roads are unsafe, we fix them to reduce auto fatalities.  We have seatbelt laws because we know it saves lives.  So the notion that gun violence is somehow different, that our freedom and our Constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon, when there are law-abiding gun owners all across the country who could hunt and protect their families and do everything they do under such regulations doesn’t make sense.

So, tonight, as those of us who are lucky enough to hug our kids a little closer are thinking about the families who aren’t so fortunate, I’d ask the American people to think about how they can get our government to change these laws, and to save lives, and to let young people grow up.  And that will require a change of politics on this issue.  And it will require that the American people, individually, whether you are a Democrat or a Republican or an independent, when you decide to vote for somebody, are making a determination as to whether this cause of continuing death for innocent people should be a relevant factor in your decision.  If you think this is a problem, then you should expect your elected officials to reflect your views.

And I would particularly ask America’s gun owners — who are using those guns properly, safely, to hunt, for sport, for protecting their families — to think about whether your views are properly being represented by the organization that suggests it’s speaking for you.

And each time this happens I’m going to bring this up.  Each time this happens I am going to say that we can actually do something about it, but we’re going to have to change our laws.  And this is not something I can do by myself.  I’ve got to have a Congress and I’ve got to have state legislatures and governors who are willing to work with me on this.

I hope and pray that I don’t have to come out again during my tenure as President to offer my condolences to families in these circumstances.  But based on my experience as President, I can’t guarantee that.  And that’s terrible to say.  And it can change.

May God bless the memories of those who were killed today.  May He bring comfort to their families, and courage to the injured as they fight their way back.  And may He give us the strength to come together and find the courage to change.

Thank you.

6:35 P.M. EDT

List of US School Shootings

Deaths from gun violence vs. deaths from terrorism chart


Now is the time to do something about gun violence….

Congress must urgently introduce legislation to:

  • Require background checks for all gun sales
  • Require background checks for all gun sales
  • Pass a new, stronger ban on assault weapons
  • Limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds
  • Finish the job of getting armor-piercing bullets off the streets
  • Give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime
  • End the freeze on gun violence research
  • Make our schools safer with new resource officers and counselors, better emergency response plans, and more nurturing school climates
  • Ensure quality coverage of mental health treatment, particularly for young people

Learn more:


Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to TELL THEM TO START WORKING with PRESIDENT OBAMA on FIREARM REFORM!!

U.S. Senators

U.S. Representatives

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Light a Candle

Please join me in lighting a candle for Oregon tonight


Friday, October 9, 2015
President Obama meets with families of the Umpqua Community College shooting
Roseburg, Oregon



GOP House Kicks Duties Down the Road & Skips Town for Early Vacation

GOP Congress Vacation

GOP Repeal ObamaCare cartoon

SCORE CARD: Republicans Vote to Repeal Obamacare for 57th Time
SCORE CARD: Republicans Vote to Repeal Obamacare for 57th 61st Time

GOP Congress Vote to Repeal Obamacare for 57th Time  – Is this good use of YOUR taxpayer dollars??

GOP Congress Vote to Repeal Obamacare for 58th Time 

6/18/15 GOP Congress Vote to Repeal Obamacare for 59th Time 

6/23/15 GOP Congress Vote to Repeal Obamacare for 60th Time 

9/25/15 GOP Congress Vote to Repeal Obamacare for 61st Time 


7/30/15 Statement by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest:

“You’ve often heard me stand at this podium and express some frustration about the tendency of House Republicans to wait until the last minute before doing something.  We had these conversations when we were talking about funding for the Department of Homeland Security, when we talked about the need to confirm the President’s nominee to be Attorney General, or when it came to making sure our intelligence professionals have the tools they need to keep us safe.  Time and again, Republicans have waited until the last minute, and in some cases, even past the last minute, before acting. Well the good news is that last night they finally agreed to do something ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, the thing that they decided to do is start their August recess. Now, setting aside that the so called August recess is poorly named – it starts at the end of July and ends in September. There you go – “District Work Period”. The real problem is that House Republicans have skipped town and started their vacation even though they have a lot of import work to do.

First, they left town without reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, this is actually work that they failed to do before their last vacation and it is the first time in history that the authorization for the bank has lapsed, even though it enjoys strong bi-partisan support. As a resort thousands of small and medium sized U.S. businesses will be spending the rest of the summer at a significant disadvantage as they try to do business overseas.

Second, House Republicans merely kicked the can down the road yet again on the Transportation Bill. These repeated short-term extensions, that they have used dozens of times, makes it very hard for officials to coordinate the planning for large, multi-year infrastructure projects when they are only being funded for one or two or three months at a time. That means that our economy and our workers are missing out.

Finally, despite having been in session since January, Republicans in congress will return in September without a path forward on a stalled budget process, even though the deadline to keep the government open will be a mere three weeks away. That’s right, Republican leaders who wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed [Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz] vowing to get congress moving again, and vowing to never shut down the government again, will be just a few weeks away from doing it for the second time in two years.

Meanwhile, Republican leaders steadfastly refuse to sit down to negotiate with Democrats who along with the President, have laid out a specific proposal and are ready to find common ground on these issues and most importantly make sure that we are focused on investing on our economy and national security. So I do hope that Republicans will do more than just relax during their 39-day vacation, because when they finally do show up again in September, there won’t be a whole lot of patience or sympathy for the claim that they don’t have time to do their job. “