Obama on gun control: “I can’t do it alone. I need your help.”

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association put on a dog and pony show today in which he blamed everything on Earth for gun violence, other than actual guns (including, but not limited to, a shortage of guns). While he was doing this — literally, as Wayne LaPierre was talking — three people were killed and three wounded by a lone shooter in Pennsylvania; the injured were all armed state troopers; the assailant is also dead.

Earlier today, President Obama responded to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have signed We the People petitions calling for sensible gun control (video below). He said:

I can’t do it alone. I need your help. If we’re going to succeed, it’s going to take a sustained effort from mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, law enforcement and responsible gun owners, organizing, speaking up, calling their members of Congress as many times as it takes, standing up and saying: Enough, on behalf of all our kids. That’s how change happens. Because of committed Americans who work to make it happen. Because of you.

Please call your US Representative and your Senators – here’s that number again: 202-224-3121 – and tell them that you support sensible gun control legislation. I just called my Republican Senator a second time (my Democratic Senator and Democratic Congressman are among the legislature’s most progressive members, so I’ve only called them once) and the very friendly and helpful staffer asked me what I meant by “sensible gun control.” Here’s what I mentioned:

  • An automatic weapons ban
  • A limit on magazine capacity
  • Background checks
  • A national gun registry

These things strike me as straight-up common sense, which is what I said on the phone. It just makes sense to say to someone “I’m going to do a background check on you before I sell you this deadly weapon.” I made a point of saying that I have no issue with responsible gun owners, hunters and so on, people who use and store their weapons in a responsible manner, and when I was done, the staffer said “Thank you very much. The Senator will get this message this afternoon.”

As the President said: This is how change happens.

Please, please, please – CALL THEM: 202-224-3121


A couple of useful resources:

1) from Mother Jones: Do Armed Civilians Stop Mass Shooters? Actually, No.

2) from the Washington Post:  Ten-country comparison suggests there’s little or no link between video games & gun murders.


  1. Well, the NRA has done the impossible. It has made me think homeschooling is a good idea.

    Boy, am I glad I don’t have kids. And I am worrying about my nephews.

  2. While it may be good to call and write our legislators, and while we may, right now, have momentum, it will be late January before a new Congress is installed. We should make sure we are trying to contact incoming legislators by whatever means we can, to pave the way for their entrance to Congress. I also believe it goes beyond this. As Americans, we have to make it abundantly clear that there will be viable and effective retribution against any legislator who votes against common sense controls on weapons. We have to use the same system President Obama used to win reelection, to show Congressmen that we are in earnest when we say that we will defeat anyone who does not do what we say. We had better be ready to use the power of the ballot and the wallet to clear out the deadwood, and we must be willing to keep up the fight. I agree with many who say “this time seems different,” but that will only really be true if we keep the focus on Newtown and gun violence. The minute we let up, the NRA goes back to being in the driver’s seat.

  3. Kevin Drum linked to a good primer on guns: http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/12/non-gun-owners-guide-guns (“Automatic” weapons are basically already banned.)

    The Times had an interesting piece on how states are undermining the current background check system by not reporting mental health cases to the FBI. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/21/us/gaps-in-fbi-data-undercut-background-checks-for-guns.html?smid=pl-share

    (Although my state of Virginia is often benighted, after Virginia Tech I’m proud to say it leads the country in reporting such cases. Other “liberal” states should be ashamed.)

  4. Reblogged this on The Life of Kylie and commented:
    Sensible steps

  5. Those who rely on guns and bullets to “save” them are filled with fear. They believe their brothers are out to get them, and that there is no loving Creator to protect them.