Last Updated:July 31 @ 12:35 pm

Obama sets January deadline for gun control proposals

By Julie Pace

WASHINGTON (AP) - Spurred by a horrific elementary school shooting, President Barack Obama vowed to send Congress new policy proposals for reducing gun violence by January.

"This time, the words need to lead to action," Obama said Wednesday. He tasked Vice President Joe Biden with leading an administration-wide effort to create the new recommendations and pledged to push for their implementation without delay.

The president, who exerted little political capital on gun control despite a series of mass shootings in his first term, bristled at suggestions that he had been silent on the issue during his first four years in office. But he acknowledged that Friday's deadly shooting had been "a wake-up call for all of us."

Twenty children and six adults were killed when a man carrying a military-style rifle stormed Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., Friday morning.

The president also called on Congress Wednesday to reinstate an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and to pass legislation that would close the gun show "loophole," which allows people to purchase firearms from private dealers without a background check. Obama also said he wanted Congress to pursue the possibility of limiting high-capacity ammunition clips.

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"The fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing," Obama said. "The fact that we can't prevent every act of violence doesn't mean we can't steadily reduce the violence."

The president's announcement Wednesday underscores the urgency the White House sees in formulating a response to the Newtown shooting. The massacre has prompted several congressional gun rights supporters to consider new legislation to control firearms, and there is some concern that their willingness to engage could fade as the shock and sorrow over the Newtown shooting eases.

Obama said it was "encouraging" to see people of different backgrounds and political affiliations coming to an understanding that the country has an obligation to prevent such violence.

Appealing to gun owners, Obama said he believes in the Second Amendment and the country's strong tradition of gun ownership. And he said "the vast majority of gun owners in America are responsible."

"I am also betting that the majority, the vast majority, of responsible law-abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few from buying a weapon of war," Obama said.

Obama also tasked the Biden-led team with considering ways to improve mental health resources and address ways to create a culture that doesn't promote violence. The departments of Justice, Education, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, along with outside groups and lawmakers, will all be part of the process.

Biden's prominent role in the process could be an asset for the White House in getting gun legislation through Congress. The vice president spent decades in the Senate and has been called on by Obama before to use his long-standing relationships with lawmakers to build support for White House measures.

The president challenged the National Rifle Association, the country's most powerful gun lobby and key backer of many Republican politicians, to join the broader effort to reduce gun violence as well.

"Hopefully they'll do some self-reflection," Obama said of the NRA.

The NRA made its first comments since the shooting on Tuesday, promising to offer "meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."

Obama said that while taking the necessary steps to reduce gun violence would take commitment and compromise, he said it could be achieved if Washington summons "even one tiny iota of the courage of those teachers, that principal in Newtown summoned on Friday."

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  1. rosecoatsComment by rosecoats
    December 19, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

    So we are putting Joe “The Joker” Biden in charge of mental health and gun control here in Gotham City? Good plan.

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    • shafawnComment by shafawn
      December 19, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

      I laughed till I almost cried! You are so right .. they are out of their minds! Kangaroo court and jokers wild!

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    • gimmesometruthComment by gimmesometruth
      December 19, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

      Biden’s gonna ‘put ya’ll in chains’.

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    • Son Of ThunderComment by mcrank
      December 19, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

      People get killed by guns every day—but they are incidental—there isn’t enough gore to elicit Media attention—to incite mob hysteria—and to stir up radical points of view. Need to be able to aggrandize the symptoms and downplay the problem. So much for Obama’s sympathy for the people of Newtown—he turned it into another political grandstanding opportunity to chip away some more at America’s freedoms. For an idiot who had 54 Christmas trees placed in the White House—along with a $4 million dollar Hawaiian vacation—this is his expression of feeling? These people have lost mothers, wives, sisters, and children and, not only what are they feeling now, but just imagine Christmas Day—so Mr O does a PR stunt for the camera along with an after-election campaign stop. Wow.

      Just another timely diversion from fiscal matters—continued irresponsible government spending—spiraling debt headed towards the $20 trillion mark—tax some more and tax some more—where’s all your concern for that Obama? Where’s your concern for the American people as a whole? And, as usual, you put somebody else in charge of coming up with a plan for “gun control” just as you do everything else because, as usual, you have no plan—you have no idea—you have no clue.

      But there was a very big bunch of idiots who voted this idiot back into office. And can you believe that Time Magazine voted Obama Person of the Year?? Doesn’t take much to impress any more does it?

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  2. Bill from MiddletownComment by Bill from Middletown
    December 19, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

    Sign the petition at wh dot gov/RzM7 Please help get this petition out in the public view.

    Help get this off the groung, it needs 150 votes before it goes active on the main page. Thanks!

    we petition the obama administration to: along with Congress, enact
    legislation eliminating gun free zones as an inherent danger to the

    Whereas, there were horrific shootings in Aurora CO, Newtown CT, Grundy
    VA, Greenville MS, Portland OR, Oak Creek WI, and other places around
    the United States;

    Whereas, the common factor in these crimes is that they took place in “gun free” zones;

    Whereas, evil people seek out areas where they know their victims will be unarmed and defenseless;

    Whereas, it is demonstrated that only the law abiding honor “gun free” zone laws, (and laws in general);

    Whereas, none of the victims of these horrible crimes had any means with which to defend themselves and others,


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    • tomtComment by tomt
      December 20, 2012 @ 11:12 am

      “You never let a serious crisis go to waste”

      Hey Bill, I agree with you!
      I find it disgusting to try and mobilize around the horrific murder of those persons at the Sandy Hook School, in an attempt to disarm our innocent countrymen, hence violating our 2nd Amendment rights.

      Gun Free Zones are an open invitation to Terrorist attack and Individual Nut Cases to carry out incidences of mass murder, Looking for body count without armed resistance.
      Our teachers, faculty and staff within our schools are the biggest deterant. They are starting advanced training soon.
      Notice how Obama puts Joe Biden up for the bad guy to confront over almost 65 million law abiding gun owners in an attempt to disarm America. Then Joe will put us in chains!
      I have nothing against people who choose to own modern firearms to meet unlawful force with equal force.
      I feel our freedoms are better preserved because they will stand against a tyrant attacking our Constitution or a terrorist attack on our persons and property.

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    • Bill from MiddletownComment by Bill from Middletown
      December 20, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

      Hey guys, I still need 133 signatures to get this petition public, please to to “wh dot gov/RzM7″ and sign up!

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)
  3. jarheadComment by jarhead
    December 19, 2012 @ 2:40 pm

    There are 260 million guns in American homes and three of them are stolen by a maniac and used for the most heinous crime imaginable so now there is a call to institute draconian measures in violation of the constitution? It just doesn’t make sense.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am all for responsible gun ownership and keeping them out of the hands of the wrong people, whether that is locking them in your home or office or preventing the sales of weapons to violent criminals and those with mental illness included. Responsible gun ownership goes hand in hadnd with responsible legislation.

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    • agnesdayComment by agnesday
      December 19, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

      Perhaps we should require not registration for gun owners, but liability insurance policies of $3,000,000. The underwriters would do a much better job than government.

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    • sumitchComment by sumitch
      December 19, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

      Let’s insure that “responsible legislation” isn’t code for gun confiscation like “comprehensive immigration control” is code for amnesty.

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  4. gunblindComment by gunblind
    December 19, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

    They do not mention that these firearms were legally owned and stolen by a deranged person. If the subsidies were still in place to have police or some type of guard in the school this would not have happened. With Obama letting these expire in 2010 and making this a gun free zone (except for criminals) this is where most of the problems lie. Cameras and sirens will not stop someone who wants to do this.

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    • truckmanComment by truckman
      December 19, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

      Agree with the ending of GUN FREE ZONES,all they do is collect unarmed victims in singular locations-much easier hunting for mass killers. We need to properly train (Front Sight Firearm Training Institute) School Principals,safety officers and Teachers,and HAVE guns onsite. Having Teachers armed and trained for protection of all involved will prove more effective and less expensive than having Police officers or Rent-A-Cops at Schools. The owner of the aforementioned “Front Sight” has graciously offered to train up to 3 representatives of every School in America in handgun use,free of charge,so I’m calling on ALL School Districts to accept the offer and actively protect their students. Contact Ignacius Piazza at Front Sight Firearm Training Institute for more information.

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  5. szyentComment by szyent
    December 19, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

    This country has been going backwards morally for a long time. So when we end up with some insane folks who believe they evolved from goo and that morality is relative and there is no absolute truth, then we think we as human beings can do God’s job after the vast majority of our government and education system has declared Him useless and non-existent? Let Him heal our land, people. Guns are not the problem. A growing God-less society is the problem. A mad-man will find a way to do evil things. What was in his heart was the problem, not what was in his hands. (It is my guess that the university professor quoted in Michelle’s “With Hunt” article is an atheist…..spewing obscenities at the NRA….when his atheistic views have more to do with what happened. The weapons are ideas….horrible ideas that lead to horrible people.)

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  6. geoinsdComment by geoinsd
    December 19, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

    These politicians, especially Obama, are full of it. If they were really sincere about preventing/stopping such violence, not just exploit a tragedy, they would be looking at a program that has already proven effective in Israel. Read:

    But this doesn’t fit the Left’s narrative so you aren’t going to hear politicians or the mainstream media discuss the Israeli solution which has been demonstrated to be effective, which happens to be consistent with one of the reasons for the 2nd Amendment.

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  7. dfrieze2001Comment by dfrieze2001
    December 19, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

    The current powers that are running this country into the ground know only one thing. They have to get rid of our guns, If they don’t, they know there are people with guns who will fight for the freedoms we used to have in this country. They want us docile and silent so that we can become the Next Soviet Union, with the Government owning EVERY THING. Even our very lives.

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    • grinnin2Comment by grinnin2
      December 19, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

      You guys are pathetic. You guys claim to be hand in hand with Jesus, then espouse the absolute NEED to own a gun. That’s contradictory. Pathetic.

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    • jw11Comment by jw11
      December 19, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

      Hey grinnin2,

      Did Jesus prevent these murders?
      Did Jesus bring the dead people back to life after they were killed?

      Well, a gun in the right hands would have taken out the shooter, saved a lot of lives AND best of all I really do not think Jesus would have minded us helping the innocent.

      So, wake up and realize that while WE, are all living HERE, that is what it takes to stay alive today.
      Pro Gun = Pro life

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    • rosecoatsComment by rosecoats
      December 19, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

      Hey Grinnin, you fit right in with Joker Joe. Who is claiming to be hand in hand with Jesus? Not I. Yes, I admire Jesus and try to live by his teachings but I am not a Christian in the strict sense of the word. Surprise, I don’t own a gun either, but I think they are necessary in trained hands to protect lives from evildoers. Banks are sensible enough to have armed guards, why not the rest of us? Had the school principal in CT had a weapon, doubtful any of those children would have been harmed. Just yesterday, an armed off-duty policeman thwarted a would-be mall killer. The Oregon mall nut was stopped by an armed citizen. With about 250 million guns in circulation in the US and a whole lot of nuts, it is prudent to be prepared.

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  8. shafawnComment by shafawn
    December 19, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

    Remember to contact your representatives in congress. It’s all well and nice to complain here but this is just a place to vent.
    Contact your representatives and hold them accountable.

    And pray pray pray that the hearts of the people will turn back to God

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    • maximusprime1Comment by maximusprime1
      December 19, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

      I would love for that to be true.
      The problem is that FREE GOVT STUFF did and will BUY the next presidential election and NO ONE can STOP it. The Prez has proved FREE STUFF works, including ObamaCare (its NOT REALLY free but it is to them), and the moochers will NOT forget to vote for their FREE goodies.
      This FREE STUFF will give the D’s more D politicians to vote against guns.

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  9. MutantoneComment by Mutantone
    December 19, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

    That there are far more Medical malpractices deaths per year than gun related deaths but I do not see the out cry as over guns. Is there an ulterior motive for this push to ban weapons? Like the lies about the rifle that was not used for the crime or the Medications the shooter was taking causing the troubles, and all the distractions to take the guns from the citizens makes me worried about the reason the democrats and “rinos” are pushing so hard to disarm the Nation?

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    • tomtComment by tomt
      December 20, 2012 @ 11:43 am

      Hey Mutantone, Could it be the large amount of Patriotic minded Gun ownership is slowing down the transition of our government to a totalitarian communist state by being the largest obstruction to achieving that goal ?

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  10. rrojasiiComment by rrojasii
    December 19, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

    Okay, if this is something that can totally be avoided, then I can agree partially to some type of gun ban. But why all the lying? I know know this is a tragedy, but let me tell you what else is a tragedy the thousands of abortions that occur on an yearly basis. If you want a gun ban, then, how about reppealing abortion. After all: “The fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing”.

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  11. sam236Comment by sam236
    December 19, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

    This is a complex issue that has been debated for years, but Obama wants recommendations by the end of January. Translation: the administration already knows what “proposals” it plans to ram down the throats of the American people. Remember the Chicago mantra: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

    We need to recognize that government cannot solve society’s problems. Government cannot stop the moral decline and coarsening of our society that’s been going on since the 1960′s. Only each of us, taking personal responsibility for our own actions, can do that.

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  12. jmikes1951Comment by jmikes1951
    December 19, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

    Lets ban guns for the Secret Service. That would cut spending and let the government know that guns in the hands of law abiding citizens are used not only for sport but protection!

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  13. astoundedComment by astounded
    December 19, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

    I cannot in conscience vote for Democrats; that’s the reason why I vote Republican in most cases, with one exception: I will never vote in support of all the macho “cowboys” out there who must prove their manhood through the acquisition and use of firearms – of whatever caliber they may be.

    Hopefully, the recent carnage in an Elementary School in CT will mark a sharp turning point in the manner in which the issue of firearms is being handled in this country. Enough is enough!

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  14. rzraickComment by rzraick
    December 19, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

    Dear Obama,

    There is nothing complex about this problem. It is quite simple. How can you talk about supporting the 2nd ammendment while talking about working toward the shredding of it?

    I do stand up and say “Enough”. Enough of your plans to make Americans safer for Americans by removing their Constututional right to gun ownership to defend themselves against tyranny, which is your vision of a better American.

    I am tired of your deceptive rhetoric, and outright lies.

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  15. diamondjimComment by diamondjim
    December 19, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

    Whoo, boy! The same folks who could not get a budget passed in 4 years are going to put together a plan for solving/preventing gun violence in two or three weeks? Gee, that should be plenty of time to enlist input from experts, review existing studies, get a broad consensus, and come up with a thoughtful, comprehensive plan that people of good will across the whole political and social spectrum can support. NOT!

    What we’ll see is the same dog-eared gun control proposals liberals have had in their top desk drawers for years–maybe with new cover sheets—but the same tired old ****. All the focus on restricting access to firearms, but little or nothing about community mental health initiatives, tighter security, or perhaps even arming and training school personnel. No serious conversation about the moral decline in America over the last 30 years and its effect on how individuals value (or don’t value) life…because the same liberal secularists responsible for that decline are leading the charge to obliterate the 2nd amendment.

    Sam236′s comment posted above is spot-on: Never let a good crisis go to waste, especially if it can be exploited for political gain!

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    • tomtComment by tomt
      December 20, 2012 @ 11:57 am

      I myself believe it was “USMC1″ several days ago who commented on here for Barry. That what was written and presented most likely was the BHO gun control plan.

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    • rzraickComment by rzraick
      December 20, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

      The desire by tyrants to disarm the people they wish to oppress is historical fact. They always do it and it always leads to the deaths of millions.

      Three weeks is plenty of time to ignore the facts which is already the plan. There is no doubt about the hidden agenda of our tyrant in Chief. This was his agenda long before this incident.

      He sees this as an opportunity. He also know that emotionalism is short lived while rational thinking can prevail.

      So of course he wants it done now, not later when the emotinal appeal will be less effective.

      Government gun control always leads to more crime and more violence. And complete govermental control of all weapons by tyrants always leads to the deaths of millions.

      Does the term History ring a bell?

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  16. bizzybuzzerComment by bizzybuzzer
    December 19, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

    What about Obama’s guards ? They carry guns. If all guns are confiscated they theirs should be also, right ? They can wrestle. Has Obama told Russia or others with A Bombs that he is going to take away automatic weapons from the troops ? If he doesn’t and those here happen to come up with automatics and they stick one in the faces of our families are we going to have printed cards to show them that they aren’t legal ?

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  17. westinComment by westin
    December 19, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

    What ever obama and Biden come up with for gun control needs to be implemented in Chicago first. Congress can then vote on it based on the results.

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  18. haplyssComment by haplyss
    December 19, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

    Obama never fails in his devious methods to destroy the Constitution of the United States. Now he’s using the disaster that occurred to push forward the beginning of the end of the 2nd Amendment. Gun control has little bearing on finding a way to stop or, at least, minimize these horrible massacres. There has to be a psychiatric approach to bring these maniacs out in the open. That method will be highly improbable to achieve.

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  19. sumitchComment by sumitch
    December 19, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

    Quote: “The fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing,” Unquote.
    - B H. Obama. 12/18/12 -

    It can however be used as down time to go to Las Vegas or play a little golf or maybe slip in a few days in Hawaii.

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  20. cxComment by genesal
    December 20, 2012 @ 10:17 am

    So now it’s going to be illegal to kill someone and take their gun then commit mass murder?

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  21. docfreemanComment by docfreeman
    December 20, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

    This sounds like Hitler coming to reign again except this time it is in America not Germany.

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    • rzraickComment by rzraick
      December 20, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

      I know Obama makes fun of those who compare him to Hitler, but the compaisons are very valid.

      I would remind you that Hitler was a grand orator, who make emotional appeals to the German people at a time when their economy was trying to recover from the money printing which made everyone poor and desperate. He told them thay the German people were a master race and that the world should be ruled by German principles. They cheered him and elected him by an overwhelming popular vote. His party was the National Socialist party. They believed in socialism and wealth redistribution. He eliminated private propery and promoted government control over everything. He created a department of homeland security after setting fire to his own government buildings and blamed other for it.

      He created a “national police force just as big and just as well funded as the military” to protect the German people from threats from the outside and to insure internal social order. And the people applauded this.

      This was the Gestapo. He then proceeded to wage aggressive war to take over control of foreign countries. And he put in place strict gun controls to disarm the citizens. Tyrants always want to take guns away from the people.

      The result was death of millions.

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