Gun control activists laud White House gun policy announcement (Video)

Gun control activists laud White House gun policy announcement (Video)

Washington : DC : USA | Jan 16, 2013 at 10:15 AM PST
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White House press conference on gun control legislation

At today’s White House press conference, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden announced a wide-ranging package of gun policy recommendations. If implemented, gun control activists say, this policy recommendation package would save countless American lives.

The report presented by the president urges Congress to pass legislation to require universal background checks on all gun sales. It would seek to renew the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Revoking restrictions on federal research into gun violence is among the recommendations.

The White House announcement further outlines 23 executive actions to reduce gun violence that the Obama administration will implement immediately. The press conference announcements drew immediate and unreserved praise from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), a gun control activist coalition.

“We were critical of this president for nothing doing enough in his first term to address America’s epidemic of gun violence,” stated CSGV executive director Josh Horwitz. “Today, those concerns were laid to rest.”

“These are reforms that should have been law in this country decades ago,” said CSGV Legislative Assistant Christian Heyne, who lost his mother in a gun-related homicide. “In the wake of the gruesome mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, we now have the opportunity to make sure future generations of Americans will not have to endure similar horrors.”

Along with partners in the gun violence prevention movement, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence will now mobilize grassroots activists across the country to support the White House’s recommendations.

The organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns invited the public to sign a statement of thanks to the President and Vice-President for their leadership. The group pleged to fight for the life-saving priorities outlined in the press conference this morning, specifically:

  • Fixing the broken background check system and requiring a background check for all gun sales.
  • Getting assault weapons and high-capacity magazines off the streets.
  • Making gun trafficking a federal crime with tough penalties for offenders.
  • Funding public research on gun violence and gun crime that will make law enforcement more efficient and effective.

The political action group MoveOn emailed members shortly after the press conference pledging their support to get gun violence prevention measures enacted. Their three part plan is targeted toward overpowering NRA money and lobbying:

  1. On-the-ground grassroots organizing by Community Committees Against Gun Violence who will meet in 200 cities tomorrow to create action plans for winning gun violence prevention legislation
  2. A communications strategy to elevate voices and campaigns of gun violence prevention activists.
  3. An over-the-air multimedia campaign to debunk NRA talking points.

Bold Progressives praised Obama's action as "bold" and offered actions supporters the opportunity to signal that to Congress.

The national Catholic lobby Network strongly supported the administration’s recommendations in a statement today, saying the measures "constitute an important first step toward making this a safer nation."

CSGV director Horowitz, who attended the White House press conference on gun control, responded enthusiastically afterward about the policy outlined this morning.

“The president’s announcement was unbelievably meaningful to Americans who have advocated against reckless gun laws; and particularly to those who have personally suffered because of them, including members of our own staff. The policy formation process directed by Vice President Joe Biden was rigorous and professional from the get-go and something we can all take great pride in,” Horwitz observed.

Public debate on gun control has heightened in the wake of the latest masacre of school children in Connecticut. Democracy Now reports that a new ABC News/Washington Post survey found 54 percent of Americans support stricter gun control laws in general, the highest in five years, with nearly 60 percent supporting a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips.

“The response to Newtown is like nothing we have ever seen,” stated Heyne. “We have been stretched beyond capacity by the flood of phone calls, emails, and social media messages we are receiving daily. Americans are asking what they can do to make a difference. We now know exactly what to tell them. ‘Contact your members of Congress—not once, but repeatedly—and tell them you want to see the White House’s recommendations acted on immediately.’"

"As the president said today," Heyne continued, "‘This time must be different.’”


Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

Mayors Against Illegal Guns


Bold Progressives


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Video of the White House press conference on gun control on January 16, 2012. President Obama signed 23 gun control executive actions. Gun control activists and organizations dedicated to reducing gun violence responded positively and enthusiastically to the event.
Billie Greenwood is based in Davenport, Iowa, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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