VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 1/5/13

1. Reader responds to alert from December 19, 2012
2. VCDL EM's store targeted by immature citizens
3. After Newtown: gun policy - PBS re-run interview with VCDL executive member [AUDIO]
4. Another reader response
5. Arm the real first responders
6. Virginia's split personality on gun control
7. As debate continues, gun sales way up
8. FALLS CHURCH Vice Mayor lashes out against McDonnell's 'arm teachers' remark
9. Ooops - Armed robbery at Red, Hot and Blue in FALLS CHURCH
10. Warner says Newtown massacre has altered his guns stance
11. Even without Congress, Obama could act to restrict guns
12. Obama hopes NRA members do 'self-reflection' in wake of shooting [VIDEO]
13. Media ignore equivalent of school shootings per month in Chicago
14. Gun control idea to pacify gun haters

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1. Reader responds to alert from December 19, 2012
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Member Eric Hoffman sent me this:

The readership should also be reminded that CT has endured a tragedy before. Horriffic home invasion, husband escaped with his life. Two daughters and wife tied to tables and beds, raped and left to die in flames when perps torched the house after robbing them.

Happened a couple yrs back. What happened?

CT voted with its feet....straight for gun stores. Weapons of every description flew off the shelves, carry permit apps hit record numbers. So we should not deign to let any media hacks tell us what should happen now.

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2. VCDL EM's store targeted by immature citizens
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From wtvr.com: http://tinyurl.com/bl4p3u5

Some think gun banner near school is in ‘poor taste’
by Wayne Covil and Nick Dutton
December 19, 2012

BEAVERDAM, Va. (WTVR) — A sign outside a Beaverdam store has some residents up in arms after last Friday’s deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

In fact, some people in the rural community want the yellow banner stating “new and used guns, machine guns and suppressors” removed from the Beaverdam Quik Stop because they say it’s in poor taste.

“I think it sends the wrong message,” Sherrie Sauer told CBS 6 News senior reporter Wayne Covil on Wednesday. “I think it’s a little disrespectful to the people in Connecticut to have that sort of sign up here…. particularly the close proximity to Beaverdam Elementary School.”

Donna Bresko agreed with Sauer and said the sign frankly makes her sick to her stomach.

“I feel like by her not taking it down… they’re trying to capitalize on the attention that is being drawn to guns,” Bresko said.

On the other hand, some residents said they support the small business owners — and do not think the sign should be pulled since it has been up for months. They also said that the owners are not insensitive to the tragedy what has happened.

“This place has been here many years and they’re good people… I don’t think they’re trying to be insensitive towards anyone with the sign,” Corey Clarke, who pointed out the sign has been up for a long time, said.

“No I don’t think its insensitive at all,” Monica Powers said. “I don’t think we should stop our lives… just because of what somebody did anywhere — even if it happened here.”

The couple who own the store, who did not want to appear on camera, told Covil that the sign will remain in place.

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3. After Newtown: gun policy - PBS re-run interview with VCDL executive member [VIDEO]
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EM Ed Levine emailed me this:

From pbs.org: http://tinyurl.com/cz6vn54

After Newtown: Gun policy
December 21, 2012

Much has been made this week about what, if anything, will happen legislatively regarding gun control. But the less reported story is that over the last few years, dozens of states have significantly rolled back gun restrictions. Two years ago, Need to Know’s John Larson traveled to Virginia to see what’s known as the “open carry” movement first-hand, to understand why it had become so popular…and to investigate how the gun rights movement had become so effective in easing gun control laws.

Part II

That sentiment has been echoed across the gun rights community this week…and some are taking it even further. Last weekend, Larry Pratt, the Head of Gun Owners of America wrote in USA Today that gun control advocates have “blood on the[eir] hands” for the Connecticut school massacre. Pratt believes that the solution to the massacre is not fewer guns but more. John Larson sat down with him in Virginia.

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4. Another reader response
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Carl Shuler emailed me this:

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My condolences on the losses with the families in Connecticut.

Keep in mind before you have a knee-jerk reaction that:

Millions of Gun Owners today did NOT go on a shooting rampage with their firearms.

Thousands of Gun Owners today DID defend themselves from robberies, assault, and violators of restraining orders.

Hundreds became NEW Gun Owners for the first time today.

Realizing that people have a tendency to blame the item, not the action. We need cooler heads to prevail during this time before we run wild with accusations, and actions, that have long lasting effects on those who did nothing.

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5. Arm the real first responders
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A Facebook page about arming the real first responders - you and me. Usually it is the everyday citizen who has to respond to an emergency first because they happen to be on the scene of the event.

Someone then calls the police, fire department, etc., who in reality become the second responders. (That's not to say that the police and firemen are less important because they arrive second. Not by any means! But more often then not, the citizen has to hold down the fort until the cavalry arrives.)

http://www.facebook.com/armthefirstresponders

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6. Virginia's split personality on gun control
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Jay Minsky emailed me this:

From newsleader.com: http://tinyurl.com/bm52dmo

Virginia's split personality on gun control
But issue may have lost power to swing votes
by Washington Post
December 20, 2012

The Newtown, Conn., school shootings have revived an issue that neatly illustrates purple Virginia’s split political personality: guns.

Gun-rights supporters have for years dominated the General Assembly in Richmond, where visitors with permits can bring firearms into the state Capitol. This year, lawmakers abolished a law that had capped handgun purchases to one a month, and they stripped localities of the right to require fingerprints from people applying for concealed-handgun permits.

And in the aftermath of the massacre in Connecticut, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II said the state should consider allowing teachers to carry weapons at schools. Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) went further Wednesday, offering a bill that would require schools to arm some teachers or other staff members.

But there’s evidence that the issue may have lost some of its power to swing statewide races, as Democratic candidates feel less pressure to toe a pro-gun line.

Sen. Mark R. Warner, a Democrat who is up for re-election in 2014 and has an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, said this week that “the status quo” could not be maintained. “There’s got to be a way to put reasonable restrictions, particularly as we look at assault weapons, as we look at these fast clips of ammunition.”

Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat who many expect to face Cuccinelli in the governor’s race next year, called for “mainstream restrictions on dangerous weapons that we can agree on,” including an assault weapons ban.

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling — who dropped out of the race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in November but says he is considering an independent bid — broke with McDonnell on the possibility of arming teachers.

“The Lieutenant Governor believes that the job of a teacher is to teach, and he does not support arming teachers,” Bolling’s deputy chief of staff, Ibbie Hedrick, said via email. “If school security needs to be enhanced, it should be done by trained law enforcement personnel. And in this year’s marquee U.S. Senate race, Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat, beat another former governor, George Allen, a Republican, despite Allen’s “A” rating from the NRA and Kaine’s “F.” Gun issues did not play a prominent role in the race. That marked a change from two decades ago, when Allen won the 1993 race for governor, partly by attacking Attorney General Mary Sue Terry, a Democrat, for her support of gun control.

In 2001, Warner’s gubernatorial win “sealed a big change in political thinking about the issue: that even for Democrats running statewide, gun-control issue was a sure loser,” said Mark Rozell, a public policy professor at George Mason University. “Democrats running statewide from then mostly seemed to bend over backwards to prove how gun friendly they were.”

Now, Rozell said, “the combination of demographic shifts in Virginia and the tragedy in Connecticut will move Democratic candidates running statewide to push for gun restrictions, with much less, if any, fear of negative political repercussions.”

Surveys have shown the state as split. In a May Washington Post poll, 53 percent of respondents said they supported stricter gun-control, down from 58 percent in 2007. But 71 percent said they would have preferred to keep the state’s one-gun-per-month law.

Perhaps because some Virginians worry that stronger gun control is coming, there are reports of buyers flocking to stores to stock up on weapons that they think could be banned or restricted. Earl Curtis, owner of the Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantilly, said Tuesday that traffic was unusually heavy at his shop and that many customers were interested in buying semiautomatic rifles.

Virginia State Police reported that background checks hit 4,166 transactions on the Saturday after the Newtown shootings, a 42 percent increase last year and the highest one-day volume since the program began in 1989. The state police Firearms Transactions Center, which fields all background check requests from licensed gun dealers in Virginia, cautioned that the number of checks does not correspond to the number of guns purchased. But the checks are run on every customer who is buying at least one firearm. This year, the number of checks done from Jan. 1 to Nov. 30 increased to 357,267, or 28 percent, from 279,209 in the same period last year.

In the booming suburbs of Northern Virginia, support for gun-control is particularly strong. In 2010, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, a Democrat, narrowly won re-election in his Fairfax County-based district after assailing businessman Keith Fimian, a Republican, for saying the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings might have been prevented if students and other people on campus had been armed.

“A very substantial portion of the Virginia population is urban and suburban, and they understand about urban violence and the threat of it,” Connolly said. “Many Virginians support sensible, reasonable [gun control] measures.”

State Sen. Richard H. Black, R-Loudoun County, said he was skeptical that new laws would make anyone safer, even if the legislation could make it through the General Assembly, which he doubts. “I think there will probably be some anti-gun legislation introduced,” he said. “I think it will be defeated.” Gun rights, he said, are “so thoroughly entrenched in the fabric of Virginia society, and the Second Amendment advocates are so networked and very effective politically. If someone threatens to harm their Second Amendment rights, they are just relentless in going after them politically.”

But despite a string of successes in Richmond, the gun lobby was unable to persuade lawmakers this year to lift a ban on guns in unsecured areas of airports — or to prevent public colleges from banning weapons on campus. The ban was promoted as a way to thwart attacks like the Virginia Tech massacre. Some relatives of victims and law enforcement officials argued successfully that armed amateurs could wind up injuring more people.

Even before the shootings in Newtown, Del. Patrick A. Hope (D-Arlington County) was working on a bill that would prohibit anyone but legislators, their staff and law enforcement officers from taking weapons into the Capitol and other legislative buildings. It is a compromise from a bill that failed in the last session that would have restricted to law enforcement officers the authority to carry weapons in the Capitol.

“The gun lobby has a firm grip around the General Assembly,” Hope said, explaining his decision to scale back the legislation. “And politics is the art of the possible.”

Some legislators who favor gun control said the Newtown rampage may nudge the commonwealth in their direction.

State Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax County), in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings, is working on legislation to close the so-called gun-show loophole, which allows some firearms sales to be made without criminal background checks.

“I’ve put it [the bill] in, in the past. It didn’t go anywhere,” she said. “But I think this year, I’m hopeful that people will come to their senses.”

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7. As debate continues, gun sales way up
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From myfoxdc.com: http://tinyurl.com/d666bur

As debate continues, gun sales way up
by John Henrehan
December 18, 2012

FALLS CHURCH, Va. - Dick's Sporting Goods, a national chain, has -- at least temporarily -- suspended the sale of sporting rifles from all of its stores. And the private equity group Cerberus, which owns the maker of Bushmaster rifles, is getting out of that business.

But since the school shootings on Friday morning in Connecticut, many people are buying guns. At NOVA Firearms in Falls Church, Va., salesman Chuck Nesby estimates sales are up 150 percent, compared with normal.

Why?

"Because ... people are afraid of the renewal of the assault weapons ban," explained Nesby. "And they're afraid they won't be able to get them [or] use them."

The nation's big city mayors have sent a letter to the President calling for a ban on assault weapons and on high-capacity magazines, and a strengthening of the current law on background checks.

Virginia Senator Mark Warner (D) told WTVR in Richmond he is rethinking his previous pro-NRA position on gun control: "When my daughters asked me Friday night, 'Dad, you're in the Senate. Why can't we put reasonable restrictions on assault weapons on these rapid-fire ammunition clips?' I didn't have a good enough answer for them."

Firearms instructor Nesby, a retired Navy captain, thinks restrictions on gun sales and possession are exactly the wrong approach.

"Let's try something different," said Nesby. "Let's harden our targets. Let's do what the Israeli's do. [Arm the] school staff."

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) believes that idea is worth considering. McDonnell, in an interview at WTOP radio, said, "You know, I know there's been a knee-jerk reaction against [allowing some school employees to be armed.] I think there should at least be a discussion of that. If people were armed, not just a police officer, but school officials that were trained (and chose to have a weapon), certainly there [would] have been an opportunity to stop aggressors from coming into the school. So, I think that's a reasonable [item for] discussion."

McDonnell has ordered a safety audit for schools in Virginia.

Late Tuesday, the National Rifle Association released a statement promising to make "meaningful contributions to make sure [the massacre in Connecticut] never happens again."

The NRA has scheduled a news conference for Friday.

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8. FALLS CHURCH Vice Mayor lashes out against McDonnell's 'arm teachers' remark
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This shows the extremes that some of the disarmament crowd will go to - not even wanting armed guards in school. I don't think they like positive roll modes with guns around kids.

Having dealt with Mr. Snyder in the past, I can say he's, er, unusual in his thinking.

Charles Winkler emailed me this:

From fcnp.com: http://tinyurl.com/cz87kr7

F.C. Vice Mayor Lashes Out Against McDonnell’s ‘Arm Teachers’ Remark
by Nicholas F. Benton
December 19, 2012

‘Appalling & Incredibly Stupid,’ Snyder Says Of Governor’s Idea

City of Falls Church Vice Mayor David Snyder lashed out at the remarks of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Tuesday, saying that McDonnell’s suggestion that teachers and principals should be armed to prevent Connecticut elementary school-like tragedies “appalling and incredibly stupid.”

Snyder contacted the News-Press to make his remarks, saying they were intended to be on the record. McDonnell’s comments were “unbelievable,” he added.

On the governor’s notion, Snyder said, “More guns lead to more deaths, it’s as simple as that,” saying he is “furious about the descent of our society to incivility and violence.”

He said McDonnell’s remarks represent “an admission of failure beyond comprehension.” Snyder issued a statement on the Connecticut tragedy Saturday noting that the first petition by the Falls Church City Council in its annual wish list for state legislative action was for a ban on firearms in City Hall, the library, community center and parks.

When State Sen. Dick Saslaw and State Del. Jim Scott appeared at the F.C. City Council meeting Monday to accept the wish list, Snyder wrote, “We were basically told to forget about getting that authority…because the regime in Richmond would never agree.”

Snyder added, “Among the recent successes of the gun advocates are measures allowing guns on public property and in bars, repealing limitations on firepower and numbers of firearms, and even preventing employers from security their property against gun violence.

“As a citizen, taxpayer, and public official, I oppose this interference into our civic affairs and hate the fact that our police have to be armed as though they are on a battlefield because, of course, they are. And I don’t think we need any longer to accept that the Second Amendment can be used to trample on the ‘unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’”

Sen. Saslaw was quoted in a press release issued by the Virginia Democratic Party Tuesday reacting to Gov. McDonnell’s comments earlier that day, saying, “And when that fails to stop this, what’s next? Arm the students? If teachers wanted to carry guns in order to do their day job, they would have become policemen.”

With Saslaw on vacation with his family in Hawaii when the incident occurred, Saslaw’s aid Janet Muldoon said, “Sen. Saslaw supports the Second Amendment and believes sportsmen should be able to hunt. At the same time, he does not believe assault weapons should be available to the general public.”

She added, “What does it say when these types of weapons are not used to hunt, but used to obliterate unarmed, innocent victims? It is long overdue to put an end to the choke hold that the Civil Defense League and the NRA have on the General Assembly. Let the debate begin in earnest and let’s include appropriate support for individuals with mental illness and their families seeking help for them.”

When he appeared with Del. Scott at the Falls Church City Council meeting last week, Saslaw said that any legislation introduced about gun control would go to the Military and Police Committee in the House of Delegates “where it would die by an 18-3 vote.” If there were any hint such a bill could clear a committee, he added, the speaker of the House would throw it in the trash can without a hearing.

The vociferous nature of Snyder’s remarks against Gov. McDonnell came despite the fact that both are Republicans.

But Snyder’s opposition to guns in public places goes way back, including to the incident in 2004 when three dozen members and supporters of a Virginia pro-gun rights organizations appeared in the Falls Church City Council chambers, most wearing handguns.

They showed up in force to protest a proposed new City administrative policy at the time calling on City employees to contact police whenever they discovered a person to be wearing a weapon. It was an administrative move to bypass state prohibitions initiated by the late then-City Manager Dan McKeever.

He devised the policy to mitigate the impact of 15 pro-gun lobby laws that had been passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature the previous spring.

While a number of City Council members admitted to being “unnerved” by the show of so many “packing heat” in the Council chambers, Snyder, who’s been on the F.C. City Council since 1994, spoke out singularly at that time.

“There may be places where you need your guns, but let me assure you, Falls Church isn’t one of them.” Saying he supported McKeever’s move, he then stood up and said, “Here I stand and can do no other.”

Following the incident, steps were taken to make the semi-circular dais behind which the seven Council members sit bullet-proof.

Falls Church area Congressman Gerry Connolly weighed in on the gun control issue this Monday with an op-ed in the New York Times entitled, “Politicians With Courage Can Win.”

According to his communications director George Burke, Connolly was invited by the Times to write the piece because the NRA headquarters is located in his 11th Congressional District and because “he dealt firsthand with the aftermath of the Virginia Tech tragedy that took the lives of six local residents.”

Connolly asked in the piece, “Will we finally break the gun lobby spell that has had us in thrall to a psychosis that has left us numb and paralyzed with each new tragedy? I think so. The gun lobby has intimidated us for far too long.”

He added, “Reasonable gun safety measures like rigorous background checks to keep dangerous weapons from criminals and the mentally ill, a ban on the assault-style weapons designed to kill dozens with ease, and stiff penalties for gun owners who fail to secure their weapons have broad public support, even among gun owners and NRA members,” he wrote.

Del. Scott told the News-Press Wednesday that he’s introducing a bill in Richmond next month that would prohibit persons who’ve been slapped with protective orders to cease and desist certain behaviors from owning a gun. Currently, such persons can’t get a gun for as long as a protective order is in effect, but not after a finite period of time has passed.

Scott’s bill would permanently disallow ownership of guns by such persons, since often such matters involve domestic disputes where enmities will continue beyond the expiration of a protective order.

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9. Ooops - Armed robbery at Red, Hot and Blue in FALLS CHURCH
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Charles Winkler emailed me this:

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Not that Vice-Mayor Snyder [PVC: see item #8, above] is keeping armed robberies out of Falls Church!

From fcnp.com: http://tinyurl.com/cg7l4v8

Armed Robbery at Red, Hot and Blue in Falls Church
by FCNP.com
DECEMBER 18, 2012

Three males, one brandishing a handgun, demanded a wallet from a victim outside the restaurant Red, Hot and Blue on Hillwood Ave. in the City of Falls Church last Sunday, December 16, Falls Church City police reported today.

The incident occurred at 9:51 p.m. Sunday night when the three suspects, described as Hispanic, approximately 16-20 years of age, one 5’5″ tall with a mustache, one 5’8″ wearing a ski mask and the third approximately 6′ tall, approached the victim at 169 Hillwood Ave. No injuries were reported.

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10. Warner says Newtown massacre has altered his guns stance
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And we need to get as many of our postcards to him signed and mailed as we can! Be sure to go by the VCDL booth at your local gun show so you and your friends and family can do so.

From wdbj7.com: http://tinyurl.com/c7yuhxx

Warner says Newtown massacre has altered his guns stance
by The Associated Press
December 17, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Sen. Mark Warner says the massacre at a Connecticut elementary school has changed his supportive stand on assault weapons.

Warner is among the few Senate Democrats who has found favor with gun rights groups.

He said in interviews Monday that the shooting deaths of 20 children and seven adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., overcame his opposition to a ban on assault weapons.

The centrist former Virginia governor says the status quo is unacceptable. He called for "stricter rules on the books" and endorsed President Barack Obama's call for cracking down on assault weapons.

Warner says there are ways to achieve "rational gun control," but that he hadn't yet devised details for a bill that would have bipartisan support.

Warner was interviewed by WTVR in Richmond on Monday.

This is a transcript of that interview, according to Warner’s office:

Cheryl, I’ve been a longtime supporter of second amendment rights. I believe that every American has second amendment rights. The ability to hunt is part of our culture. I’ve had an NRA rating of an A. But you know, enough is enough. I’m the father of 3 daughters and this weekend they all said, “Dad, how can this go on?” And I, like I think most of us, realize that there are ways to get to rational gun control, that there are ways to grapple with the obvious challenges of mental illness. And the idea that we can just kind of ignore this issue, I join with the president, and I think reasonable folks in both parties, and I think the overwhelming majority of Americans who are gun owners, who believe that we’ve got to put stricter rules on the books. Now what those specifics ought to be, there’ll be time for that. Today the first two funerals of these children are taking place. So I join with what I hope will be a majority of Democrats and Republicans – there should not be a Democrat or Republican position on this. It is time for this kind of senseless position to end. And there won’t be one perfect law that’s going to stop a crazy person from doing evil things. But when we have close to 30,000 killings a year from all types if gun violence, even if we save a few lives we make progress. And I can answer my daughters with a better answer than I gave them Friday night.

The President talked about the fact that this has to be taken care of as a bipartisan issue, gotta throw the politics out on this. Do you think this is something the lawmakers can come to an agreement on?

I hope and pray that – obviously we in VA have suffered these tragedies; we all recall the horrible tragedy at Virginia Tech. But somehow to see these little kids; there’s no such thing that any of these kids – or the parents for that matter – we see them as our fellow Americans. And I absolutely believe that people of good will in both political parties can find a rational way to get to rules that can be better enforced and still preserve that basic American right as well of hunting and reasonable gun ownership.

You mentioned the issue of mental healthcare. That became the issue with the Virginia Tech shooter; we don’t know the issue in this case, but obviously there was a problem there. Where do we go to help people who need help in these kind of situations?

Well that again goes to this notion that if you look at America compared to say countries in Europe, there seems to be a better ability elsewhere for people to intervene earlier. The challenge again comes down to, are we ready as a society to commit the resources to intervene not when somebody is at the point of extremis – some of our laws now say we can only intervene if the person is an immediate threat to themselves or others – well sometimes we don’t know that. We have to make sure that we find ways, particularly with some of these young people that we’ve seen in Colorado, at Virginia Tech – these are clearly troubled individuals and for their sake, for the safety of the community, we’ve got to make sure that we have better mental health intervention as well.

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11. Even without Congress, Obama could act to restrict guns
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Walter Jackson emailed me this:

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From breitbart.com: http://tinyurl.com/c59lrvq

EVEN WITHOUT CONGRESS, OBAMA COULD ACT TO RESTRICT GUNS
by Reuters
December 18, 2012

(Reuters) - Unburdened by re-election worries and empowered by law to act without Congress, U.S. President Barack Obama could take action to improve background checks on gun buyers, ban certain gun imports and bolster oversight of dealers.

Prospects for gun control legislation intensified in the wake of the school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, as more pro-gun rights lawmakers said on Monday they were open to the possibility while Obama and three cabinet members met at the White House to discuss the subject.

Having just won a second four-year term, Obama does not need to fear alienating voters who favor gun rights and he could press ahead without lawmakers on fronts where federal law enables executive action.

Speaking in Newtown, where a gunman on Friday killed 20 children and six adults in an elementary school, Obama vowed late on Sunday to "use whatever power this office holds" to try to prevent such massacres.

"Because what choice do we have? We can't accept events like this as routine," Obama said at Newtown High School.

His administration has the power to issue executive orders or new rules, options that Obama is likely to consider in combination with possible new laws.

The National Rifle Association, the largest U.S. gun rights group with 4 million supporters, relies largely on its ability to influence lawmakers in order to block legislation.

Obama's appointees at the U.S. Justice Department have been studying ideas since the January 8, 2011, shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and 18 others at a public meeting. Giffords survived but six people died.

Christopher Schroeder, who ran the Justice Department's review, said it looked at possible legislation to send to Congress as well as action the administration could take itself.

"You always look at both, because if you can do it administratively it's certainly a less involved process," said Schroeder, who has since returned to a professorship at Duke Law School.

Many of the ideas have to do with the background checks that licensed gun dealers run on potential buyers.

CRITICS CITE HOLES

Critics say the system has holes because it does not include all the data it should on those ineligible to buy guns. The FBI, which runs the system, could incorporate more data from within the federal government - using evidence of mental incompetence, for example.

There are privacy concerns, however, and the Justice Department is still studying which types of data it can legally use, Schroeder said.

"That kind of system works effectively only if all of the potentially disqualifying information that has been gathered by any federal, state or local authority is accessible to the database, and that's not the case today," he said.

It is not clear what changes to the background checks would have prevented the mass shooting in Newtown, because the killer appeared to have used weapons his mother bought legally.

Other proposals for executive action by Obama include sharing information with state and local law enforcement about possibly illegal purchases; maintaining data on gun sales for longer periods to help with investigations; and restricting the importation of certain military-style weapons, as President George H.W. Bush did in 1989.

A pro-gun control mayors' group co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has pushed the Obama administration since 2009 to adopt 40 recommendations it said were allowed under existing law.

One of the 40 has been put into effect, said Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and even that recommendation - requiring gun dealers to report sales of multiple semiautomatic weapons - drew heated resistance.

In 2011, when the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) adopted a version of the recommendation aimed at dealers in states near the U.S.-Mexico border, gun makers sued and congressional Republicans tried to eliminate funding for the rule.

A judge upheld it, allowing it to go into effect. The case is now on appeal.

LOBBYING BLITZ

Bloomberg's group is still pushing the other recommendations as it makes plans for a lobbying blitz over new laws, such as a ban on high-capacity magazines. "While they are important, they're not the big-ticket items. And we're in a big-ticket world," Glaze said.

The administration also has leeway to act in how it defines certain categories of people prohibited from buying a gun.

Federal law bars anyone "who has been adjudicated as a mental defective," but it does not specify whether that means only a court can disqualify someone, said Michael Volkov, a former Republican Justice Department official now at the law firm LeClairRyan.

Another option could be changing how long a firearms dealer must keep records of a sale - a period that is now three days but could be extended, Volkov said.

Since the Justice Department began reviewing ideas to prevent mass shootings in early 2011, it has implemented a handful of changes.

In May, the department unveiled an automated system to feed records of federal indictments into the background checks database, replacing a system in which prosecutors uploaded information manually.

Schroeder said the department's review of firearms-related ideas is ongoing. He described the process as informal, and not one that has produced a formal report.

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12. Obama hopes NRA members do 'self-reflection' in wake of shooting [VIDEO]
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No, its definitely President Obama that needs to do some self-reflection and remember his campaign promise that he wouldn't take away anyone's guns. Gee, and I believed him! OK, I sort of believed him. Yeah, I know - I didn't believe a word of it.

Walter Jackson emailed me this:

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From breitbart.com: http://tinyurl.com/cxmo2ep

OBAMA HOPES NRA MEMBERS DO 'SELF-REFLECTION' IN WAKE OF SHOOTING
December 19, 2012

The President, when asked about the political pressure of the National Rifle Association, said that members of the NRA "are mothers and fathers." He said that he hopes members do some "self-reflection" in the wake of the tragic shooting in CT that left 20 kindergardeners dead.

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13. Media ignore equivalent of school shootings per month in Chicago
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Doesn't fit the media's agenda since Chicago has some of the strongest gun control in the U.S. Clearly gun control does NOT work. SSSHHHHH!

Walter Jackson emailed me this:

From breitbart.com: http://tinyurl.com/d8x36gl

MEDIA IGNORE EQUIVALENT OF SCHOOL SHOOTINGS PER MONTH IN CHICAGO
by John Nolte
December 18, 2012

Murders in the city of Chicago, Illinois, are up over last year and could hit 500 by the end of this year. That's 41 a month, and you don't need me to tell you that almost all of those homicides were caused by a bad guy holding a firearm. But where's the media to wring their hands over this gun violence? Where's the 24/7 news coverage, presidential addresses, and push for answers?

When people talk about our country becoming "desensitized" to violence, most of the time that's a discussion about films and video games. But when we shrug our shoulders and accept as the new normal the equivalent of a school shooting per month in one of our largest (and most beautiful) cities, there's no question that's another drop in the "desensitized" bucket.

Don’t misunderstand, I'm not in any way making an equivalence argument comparing the murder rate in Chicago with what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary last Friday morning. There's no question that horrific event and the age of the victims is something that stands alone, even when compared to other mass shootings of this kind.

But I am talking about a tragic loss of human life happening at an alarming rate in the Windy City, and the media's unwillingness to declare 41 murders a month worthy of a national discussion, much less a national crisis.

My guess is that the media's lack of interest in Chicago's ongoing murder spree has a lot to do with the lack of political upside in reporting on the story. Because what's happening in Chicago can't in any way be blamed on Republicans, conservative ideas, or a lack of left-wing ideas, the media would prefer to pretend the murders aren’t happening.

You see, the media can't blame the murders on a lack of gun control, because Chicago has the toughest gun control laws in the country. The media can't blame the murders on a lack of high taxes or big government, because Chicago is wholly owned by Democrats and their machine. This is also why the media can't blame the GOP.

In fact, Chicago is a magical place where American leftists have seen every single one of their Utopian dreams realized, so the pointing out of these murders in paradise might upset a Media Narrative aggressively pushing for those Utopian dreams to be forced upon us nationwide.

So the media ignore the Chicago murders, just like they ignored the deaths of who knows how many innocent Mexican citizens at the hands of assault weapons run into that country by their precious Obama Administration.

Apparently, according to our media, some victims of gun violence (the ones who are not predominantly white) are more equal and worthy of their time and activism than others.

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14. Gun control idea to pacify gun haters
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James Kisser emailed me this quote from a humorist. This might actually work!:

"So people are acting pretty set on gun control, but all their ideas are things that do nothing but pester law abiding gun owners. ... So idea: Let's just pretend to pass gun control. The people who most want it won't know the difference between an actual law being passed and absolutely nothing being done, so can't we just say we passed a bunch of laws and pretend everyone is safer? We'll call it the 'Super Deadly Gun Ban Act' and it will ban fully-automatic bolt action shotguns and armor piercing hollow points and any magically enchanted guns. And then all the dumb people will cheer, 'We is safer!' So it's the same result as an 'assault weapon' ban, but no enforcement costs and no petty intrusions on liberty. If people want useless things done to make us all feel safer, can't we all just play along?" --humorist Frank J. Fleming