Thursday, January 17, 2013

President Obama announces proposed gun control measures with Vice President Biden by his side in the wake of Connecticut shootings, president says gun control debate does not have to get nasty, Cleveland area community activists, Cleveland mayoral candidate, NRA member comment on Obama gun control proposal, Republican congressional lawmakers against proposal site 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, gun violence on rise nationally, in Ohio, and in city of Cleveland

United States President Barack Obama (right) and Vice President Joe Biden

Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper(

WASHINGTON, D.C.- With Vice President Joe Biden by his side President Barack Obama on Wednesday offered strict measures to curb gun violence across the nation in the wake of the unprecedented shootings last month that left 20 first graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. dead. Also killed in that rampage was the mother of suspected shooter Adam Lanza, 20, who then turned the gun on himself. 

The president's proposal calls for extensive background checks for the sale of guns across the nation and bans on high-capacity magazines and military type assault weapons, among other proposed provisions. Some of the proposal became effective through executive orders signed Wednesday by the president, such as more extensive background checks to buy guns legally.

But much of it requires congressional approval.  

Obama also wants Congress to reinstate an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and to limit ammunition magazine clips to 10 rounds or less. And he wants access to mental health treatment for all Americans.

Since the Connecticut shootings on Dec. 14 that moved a nation to tears, Obama has repeatedly said that federal lawmakers and state and municipal policymakers, school boards and other authorities must do more to protect America's children, the country's greatest resource by his standards.

The president repeated that stance on Wednesday in a press release to Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's most read online Black news venue. He said that the debate by congressional leaders on the controversial issue does not have to get nasty.

"Protecting our children from harm should not be divisive," the president said. "These are our kids. What we should be thinking about is our responsibility to care for them, and shield them from harm."

At the White House press conference on anti-gun violence objectives by the Obama administration on Wednesday both Obama and Biden spoke as well as a host of others, including family members of the Connecticut shooting victims, who flanked the president in support of his gun control recommendations.

"Before I begin today, let me say to the families of the innocents who were murdered 33 days ago, our hearts go out to you," said  Biden, whom the president thanked for his leadership in pushing for heightened gun control legislation.

Violence in major metropolitan predominantly Black cities like Cleveland is also on the rise, data show. And guns are the fueling mechanism.

The murder rate finished at 97 in 2012, Cleveland city officials said., up from 75 in 2011, and 72 in 2010.

The suburbs of Ohio are being hit by extensive gun violence too, and in their public schools.

Just last year gun violence rocked Chardon, Oh. as three Chardon High School students, one of them  Black, were gunned down in the school cafeteria by suspected student-shooter T.J. Lane.

The Obama gun proposal is certainly ambitious. But so was the Affordable Care Act, a bold universal healthcare initiative that Obama convinced Congress to adopt into law in 2010, and that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld last year as passing constitutional muster. 

The catch to the president's ambitious gun control agenda though is that Congress must vote to pass the meaty parts of it in an era where liberality with guns has grown as much as the popularity of the NRA. And even recent New York legislation on gun control, the strictest ever, does not reflect the overall mood of the nation on relaxed gun violence laws nationally, at the state level, and locally.  

The NRA is no joke either. Its national leaders balked at any gun control measures following the Connecticut shootings and called for guns for teachers in public school classrooms for protection. 

"The would not have stopped the Connecticut shootings and others like it," said Roz  McAllister of Obama's proposal.

A Republican, east side community activist of Cleveland, and gun enthusiast  who also leads Ohio Family Right McAllister said that right to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment is sacred and law abiding citizens should be able to own and carry guns without a whole lot of unnecessary restrictions.

Republican congressional lawmakers quickly voiced opposition to the proposal, also citing the 2nd Amendment's right to bear arms, which is surely to get retested before the end of Obamas' second four-year term. It commences when the president is officially sworn in on Jan 20, though the president's public swearing in is on Jan 21, the holiday for the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King  Jr, a Civil Rights icon. 

Cleveland Mayoral Candidate Donna Walker Brown, a community activist and NRA member, said that she understands that President Obama is "reacting to a heart wrenching tragedy around the Connecticut shootings."

(www.clevelandurbannews.comReach Cleveland Urban News.Com by email at and by phone at 216-659-0473.