Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Taking a broad approach to gun violence

Today President Obama will announce the administration's plans for moving forward on the promise he made at the Newtown vigil.
In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens -- from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators -- in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. Because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?
Yesterday Press Secretary Jay Carney re-iterated that the work will not be limited to gun control legislation.
By the time the process concludes, White House officials suggested, the proposals will probably include ideas to address mental illness and the violence depicted in popular culture — a strategy aimed at focusing the proposal on more than limiting gun ownership.

“Gun laws are a part of this, but they are not the only part of this, as anyone who is truly an expert on these issues will tell you,” Carney told reporters. “There is no single legislation, no single bill that’s been written, that’s been enacted and expired that alone solves this problem. And that’s why you have to take a broader approach.”
Carney also reiterated that President Obama supports the assault weapons ban that Senator Feinstein will propose as well as closing the loophole related to gun-show sales. But the work that he will appoint VP Biden to oversee will include more than that.

Given what the President has said in the past, I also wouldn't be surprised if these efforts go beyond the prevention of mass shootings to incorporate the daily toll that gun violence takes around the country as well. That's because Heaven Sutton was just 7 years old at the time she was killed by gunfire too.
Heaven and her family moved to the neighborhood six months ago but the little girl wanted to move because she was scared of all the shootings and violence.

But Heaven was looking forward to escaping the neighborhood with a trip to Disney World next month and got her hair styled for the occasion when shots rang out Wednesday evening.

Police said two men walked up near the home and opened fire as Heaven stood outside selling candy and snacks with her family. Her mother, Ashake Banks, said she ran the candy store for neighborhood kids in front of the building where they lived with the goal of keeping them out of trouble.


  1. Smarty.

    This is not in response to the post above. I did not know how to request your insight on the following any other way.

    All during the campaign, President Obama said repeatedly that in order to get our financial house in order it would take painful steps from both sides of the aisle. He always said this.

    I knew then that few heard him. This backlash against him is what I have feared. What I don’t understand is what alternative positions are available to him.

    Are his critics on the left offering any alternative ideas for him, or are they just angry that we are compromising on anything.

    Normally, I take comfort in reading Benen, Carpenter, or checking out where the AARP stands. Even these don’t seem to be supporting the President, this time, specifically about the possibility of chained CPI. EVerybody seems to feel that he is compromising too soon and too much.

    (By the way, KOS described PBO’s news conference as “painfully bad”. So much for all the glowing support during the campaign.)

    I knew this was coming, but I was hoping for more support from him. Ironically, Krugman came closest to supporting him, though guardedly.

    How are you thinking about this? I sure could use some perspective.

    1. eveingeorgia,

      I saw that things were building this morning, but had to leave early for work and have been away from my computer all day.

      I'll try to write more in the next day or two - but I think you already nailed the basics of what's happening. I tried to warn a few weeks ago that PBO was taking a different negotiating tactic this time because he had leverage. But I knew that would be temporary. He has to compromise and we all should have known that the poutragers would start screaming again when he did.

      I haven't gotten caught up yet on what folks have said throughout the day today. But I did see what p m carpenter wrote this morning and was really disappointed.

      As I said, I'll write more later. But in the meantime - hang in there. Those of us who have been paying attention to PBO all along know that he's never let us down before. He won't this time.


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