President Obama: “…. the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. The fact that we can’t prevent every act of violence doesn’t mean we can’t steadily reduce the violence, and prevent the very worst violence.
…. I will use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. We won’t prevent them all – but that can’t be an excuse not to try. It won’t be easy – but that can’t be an excuse not to try.”
Full transcript of the President’s remarks today (video in post below)
Charles Pierce: Following the announcement by Cerberus, the capital management firm that said yesterday that it was getting out of the firearms business, it appears that the notion of divestment is starting to catch on around the country:
The $150.1 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund is reviewing its investments in firearm manufacturers, a spokesman for New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said on Tuesday. New York City’s pension funds are also reviewing investments and may sell nearly $18 million worth of stock in four companies that manufacture guns and ammunition, a spokesman said on Tuesday….
…. If you’re wondering why the NRA is extending what Joe Scarborough called “the olive branch” this time, there’s your reason … These clowns didn’t grow a conscience over the weekend. Their sugar daddies are losing money, and that’s all that ever has mattered.
Greg Sargent: The White House press corps didn’t seem to think President Obama’s press conference on guns today was that newsworthy — reporters were more interested in asking him about the imminent fiscal cliff deadline. But I believe Obama’s pledge today to pursue sustained action to combat gun violence was a very important moment, and demonstrates what presidential leadership on this issue is supposed to look like.
…. No question, it’s easy to remain skeptical about the prospects for real reform and about whether lawmakers, Obama included, will remain engaged once the Newtown headlines fade. But Obama did demonstrate today what presidential engagement on this issue looks like. And in so doing, he invited us to insist that he sustain it for the foreseeable future.
ThinkProgress: The National Rifle Association finally broke its silence and announced they would hold a press conference a week after the massacre of 27 people, most of them children around 6 years old, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. In the official statement, gun advocates’ most prominent lobby suggested they would make “meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again”.
While the nature of these “meaningful contributions” will be revealed at Friday’s conference, the NRA’s response to other mass shootings is historically to offer condolences to victims’ families and continue to push a radical agenda to make it easier to get guns and carry them in more places. In fact, some of their most extreme legislation has been passed in the wake of a mass shooting….
Donkeylicious: …. the government of Australia banned the manufacture and possession of semiautomatic long guns (rifles and shotguns) and high capacity magazines in 1996. They then spent about $500 million buying back existing guns, compensating gun dealers and for loss of business, etc. In total, roughly 650,000 guns were reclaimed and destroyed.
…. Australia hasn’t had a mass shooting since…
…. The practical effect of such a buyback in the United States would be much more muted. The best estimates suggest there are between 2.5 and 4 million semiautomatic long guns in the US. That’s roughly 1% of the total gun inventory, rather than the 30% that such guns made up in Australia. Still, semiautomatic guns are used in a number of spree shootings, and high capacity magazines are almost always used. Buying back those magazines would almost certainly be worth it.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk in a West Wing hallway of the White House, following the President’s statement to the press, Dec. 19, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)