This week, the Vice President traveled to Houston and Panama, the President honored both the legacy of John F. Kennedy and this year’s Medal of Freedom Winners and Nobel Laureates, and he attended the Wall Street Journal‘s CEO Summit.
The President’s Sensible Gun Violence Prevention Proposal
The president and vice president today announced a sweeping agenda to stem the epidemic of gun violence that exists in our country. You can find the full text of the plan HERE, but ThinkProgress’ Annie-Rose Strasser breaks down everything you need to know about the president’s plan:
1. Making background checks universal. Obama wants every single gun owner to go through a proper background check, so it can be determined whether they have a criminal history or diagnosed mental illness. He wants Congress to close the gun show loophole that allows people at gun shows, and private buyers of used weapons, to avoid getting checked. He will also, through executive action, urge private sellers to conduct background checks, even if they aren’t mandatory.
2. Improving state reporting of criminals and the mentally ill. While all states are required to report to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) people who should not have access to guns, some states are sluggish about putting the data into the system. Obama will put more money into the hands of the states so that they can improve their reporting systems, and issue stronger guidelines to let states know when they should report people. Obama will also, through Presidential Memorandum, work to make sure agencies are regularly entering data into NICS.
3. Banning assault weapons. This is likely the most difficult battle Obama will undertake. He wants to reinstate the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, which outlaws military-grade weapons, like the AR-15 used by Newtown gunman Adam Lanza and by Aurora Theater gunman James Holmes. Obama wants Congress to pass the ban, and close some of the loopholes identified in its 1994 iteration.
4. Capping magazine clip capacity at 10 bullets. A military-grade weapon is dangerous, but so are its accessories: Obama proposes banning all extended magazine clips that hold over 10 bullets. Huge magazine clips allow a gunman to fire off hundreds of rounds without having to stop, even once, to reload. The high-capacity magazine ban was also part of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban.
5. Purging armor-piercing bullets. The sale of armor piercing ammunition has been banned for quite some time, but is still legal to posess such bullets. Obama is calling on Congress to outlaw ownership and transfer of these bullets, instead of just the sale. Those who oppose any gun laws try to spin a ban on armor piercing bullets as a ban on deer hunting ammunition, but such ammo has the ability to penetrate bullet-proof vests, and is more colloquially known as “cop killer bullets.”
6. Funding police officers. Obama wants Congress to reverse its course of austerity for public employees by approving $4 billion to fund police enforcement around the country.
7. Strengthening gun tracking. In order to track weapons that are used for crimes, Obama will issue a memorandum mandating that all agencies trace back firearms. This means that any agency in the country must trace guns used in crimes back to their original owners, as a way to help collect data on where criminal weapons are coming from. Obama will also ask Congress to allow law enforcement to do background checks on guns seized during investigations.
8. Supporting research on gun violence. Obama hopes to be able to gather more information on gun violence and misuse of firearms, and use that data to inform the work of law enforcement. He also wants to restart research, which has been long blocked by the National Rifle Association, on how video games, the media, and violence affect violent gun crimes. The Centers for Disease Control will immediately begin these efforts, but Obama also is calling on Congress to add $10 million to the pot of funding for such research.
9. Encouraging mental health providers to get involved. In order to make sure that those with homicidal thoughts are unable to access the weapons with which to kill, Obama seeks to encourage mental health professionals to alert authorities to such people. He will clarify that doing so is not in violation of patient privacy laws. He also wants to dispel the idea that Obamacare prevents doctors from talking to patients about guns.
10. Promoting safe gun ownership. The administration will start a “responsible gun ownership” campaign to encourage gun owners to lock up their firearms. He will also work with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure safes and gun locks on the market are effective. He’s also calling on the justice department to help him come up with new gun safety technology.
11. Funding school counseling. Obama is calling on Congress to fund the positions of 1,000 news school counselors. The funding will come both through the already-existent COPS Hiring Grant, and through a new Comprehensive School Safety program that Congress will need to sign off on. The latter would put #150 million into funding for new counselors and social workers in schools.
12. Encouraging safe, anti-bullying school environments. Over 8,000 schools could receive new funding — $50 million — under Obama’s plan to encourage safer school environments. Obama wants to help at-risk students by creating a “school climate survey” that will collect data on what services students need, and to remedy any problems by putting professionals into schools. The administration will also issue guidelines on school discipline policies.
13. Recognizing the mental health needs of low-income Americans. Medicaid recipients already qualify for some mental health services, but Obama would like to expand that service so that low-income Americans have the same access to professional help as those who have money to pay for it on their own. Obama will issue a directive to heads of state health programs, enforcing “mental health parity” — the idea that mental health should be treated as a priority as important as physical health.
In the coming days and weeks, the president, vice president, and cabinet will take their case outside of the Beltway in order to truly engage the American people in the vital debate.
BOTTOM LINE: Now is the time for Congress to pass common-sense legislation that protects our families from needless gun violence. We are not talking about radical measures but common-sense solutions supported by a majority of the American people, as well as NRA members and gun owners.
Things that happened in 2013 and still cannot be explained ~ insane!
Meet the Republicans who want to impeach Obama over gun safety regulations.
NRA releases “repugnant and cowardly” ad invoking the president’s children.
Rick Perry’s solution to gun violence: pray.
Whole Foods CEO: Obamacare is like “fascism.”
Conservatives and GOP elected officials call for GOP to back off debt limit hostage-taking.
Terrorists linked to Al-Qaeda take Americans hostage in Algeria.
States shower millions in tax breaks on gunmakers
The winter solstice …
… the Sun appears at noon at its lowest altitude above the horizon.  In the Northern Hemisphere this is the Southern solstice, the time at which the Sun is at its southernmost point in the sky, which usually occurs on December 21 to 22 each year
The idea that President Barack Obama just didn’t know what he was doing is beyond absurd; he was definitely held back by his aids but he governed for the people. I cannot say that about our current administration. There are strong feelings, passions and possible misunderstandings in this era of trump, but it seems like it’s time for trump supporters to hit the “panic button” especially after the midterms and time for DEMS to call it game over! To be sure the game of politics is clearly just beginning as DEMS take over the House and at some point voters on both sides of the aisle had to see the actions being made, accept the truth of where this admin wanted America to go and made some serious decisions in 2018 to change the faces of Congress. It’s possible that Congress previously led by republicans will now be held to a minimum of spending on hearings based on revenge, his 3rd shutdown has begun while the government of tantrums is far from over and the chaos is beyond holding America hostage for no quantifying reason. The check on mr trump has been voted into office during the midterms … YaY! yet, the long road ahead is going to keep us wide eyed mouthed and gasping as we endure this era of trump
So, for this coming New Year, pledge to be ready for Election 2020… lean left. The point to my blog; is to blow off steam … offer up some info from those who know, maybe question, challenge some who think they know, ask, plead or yell for a call to action with signatures that can create change …and
Yes, Words do Matter contrary to how most conservatives seem to feel.
I thank everyone who even takes the time to visit my blog let alone read and respond to the articles and even some actually sign petitions … I thank you … much gratitude.
In this era of trump one might be thinking the end of days, what with republicans trying to legislate more guns in stadiums schools and other alarming places, allowing more concealed weapons in open spaces least we think about what life will look like under what seems like Martial Law depending on your zip code or skin colour. We must stand our ground and have the Audacity for Hope and Change.
Have a Merry Christmas &
Happy New Years
Word of the day is all about the act of observation …and a rant
I have to ask everyone who is taking the time to read this —at what point will the various cable and main stream stations do the right thing and stick to the truth instead of skewing it to make the current government look sane -stop trying to sway voters and report the news…This stuff is NOT normal
After days and weeks of offensive down right discriminatory comments coming from Politicians already in office, folks running for office, even some pundits are riding on the edge of truth but the reality is – this kind of rhetoric, this fear mongering could quite possibly put our democracy at risk.
The only solution is to End the #trumpTrifecta yes, midterm2018matters
Compare and Contrast all the things that the Obama2010admin as well as Congress managed to achieve despite the Republican Tea Party.
Observe and analyze who what when and why things have not improved as some out there on the left want and then remind them what people said … that a President that goes too far left of center is not representing all Americans. The truth is most people “most” used to be moderate and expect the President to be not just moderate but bipartisan; until Obama! And while folks on the right said one thing and did another on the floor of congress and btw this is standard republican behavior no matter who is in office, it makes you wonder if taking a hard left is the only way to solve and get the People’s Business done and back on track.
Then reality comes back and we have to remember the Democratic Party is made up of a huge tent with various degrees of democratic ideology and going or taking that hard left was not only a mission impossible but possibly no one was or is ready for. The 2010-2013 Republican Tea Party were united no matter what their colleagues said or did, the Democratic party on the other hand seem to fight to get good legislation on the floor of the Senate ,debate it to make progress in the move toward the 21st Century living. We all know our ability to move forward is being held hostage by the Republican Party having turned full out trumpNation until they can ruin our recovering economy of all “it’s Obama” stamp. I hope my worry is your worry, that we will have no place to go or anyone to help if in fact we fall into a deep recession … again!
I have to say my Observation of “the Media” … is not just giving Republicans more airtime but seemingly those folks know who is buttering their paychecks so the fair and balanced slogan when describing the news is just a joke now.
We must remember what happened in 2008! Yes, Congress goes through change, but the era of trump is at hand. Now, more than ever we need main stream media to provide on a daily basis information on the failure of the house of bush, the deficit he left and finding out that Wall Street, Oil and the Banks as well as AIG made bets not only with the people’s money but against us – you would think some would understand that after years of corruption it might take years to make all the corrections given the fact that some parts needed to make the fix are being held hostage by Republicans. I am no expert but people need to compare their own budgets to what happened in 2008 then estimate your recovery time… and realize any correction will take a long time especially since folks on the right were able to downsize/block or stall most of the financial fixes in the Senate. So, voters need to take a real look at the spending that team trump is engaged in and call him out.
The Democratic Party needs to get our arses out to vote.
Mitdterm2018 is a pivotal moment and if we really want change; Not Autocratic change, we need to urge all protected classes to make sure they vote. It has become apparent that some folks do not understand why the process of change cannot and should NOT be done by only the POTUS but Congress in both Chambers as separate branches of our government needs to do the work of the people. While it is obvious, the House is definitely representing $$$$ the Senate faces obstacles and the only solution is getting truer Dems on the floor of the Senate. We must make sure our Nation is NOT sliding into an autocratic nation to which some of trump supporters have expressed as a good change? Come on!?
President Obama did the best he could with what the last admin left him and again it took a long time to get to an improved 2017 but it seems team trump has not only stripped away the Obama legacy it has hurt Americans in ways that probably won’t be fully felt until 2019. We are witnessing those on the right who choose to provoke trump fear; lately that has turned into action by those feeling certain TV or radio personalities were giving them subliminal instructions to act against those who support the Democratic Party ,Muslims, Black and Brown folks and Jews. That has got to stop; it would be even better if “the Media” would stop giving folks on the right passes when they make outrageous, racist, xenophobic exclusionary comments…we hear it from Fox News but now cable stations, depending on the day or hour seem to take a hard right and has this viewer wondering where the money is coming from, supporting the more extreme view on our airwaves? But then again Sinclair Broadcasting is another animal doing its best to alter the facts and reality of our daily lives. What we are seeing by some reporters, pundits, and talking heads are of engaging in the dance of “News manipulation” which is a sad representation of what real journalists, reporters and commentators used to be … What hashtag #FreePress means and meant to our founding fathers …lol
If you are trying to figure out exactly how we got into this mess? Remember that once fabulous video “House of Cards” by David Faber…on CNBC… but I don’t believe it’s still available
What have you Observed?