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President launches study to stem U.S. gun violence

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
December 31st, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The application of the Rights given under the Second Amendment has come under much public scrutiny following the massacre at the Sandy Hooke Elementary School in Newton Connecticut. In response, U.S. President Barack Obama has launched a task force to examine options to stem gun violence in America.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Led by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, the task force will present proposals next month to turn the tide in gun crime. Obama has said that he would seek a broad approach to the problem. Part of that will be addressing the role of violence in entertainment along with measures to improve mental healthcare.

Obama has also called on Congress to move swiftly to reinstate the federal assault weapons ban coupled with a ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines. The president repeated those calls this past weekend and said he would meet with lawmakers on both sides of the aisles to see action.

"I've been very clear that an assault-rifle ban, banning these high capacity clips, background checks, that there are a set of issues that I have historically supported and will continue to support," the president said.

"I'd like to get it done in the first year. I will put forward a very specific proposal based on the recommendations that Joe Biden's task force is putting together as we speak. And so this is not something that I will be putting off."

Tough political opposition is expected from the nation's largest gun lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA), saying they will oppose any new restrictions.

The NRA had earlier held a press conference calling for a national program to place armed guards in the nation's schools, which they said would be more effective at preventing future tragedies like in Newtown.

Obama said he expressed unease with the NRA's proposal.

"I am not going to prejudge the recommendations that are given to me. I am skeptical that the only answer is putting more guns in schools. And I think the vast majority of the American people are skeptical that that somehow is going to solve our problem," he said.

The president expects firearm owners to understand the need for new regulations in the wake of the Connecticut shooting spree that killed 20 young children.

"I think there are a vast majority of responsible gun owners out there who recognize that we can't have a situation in which somebody with severe psychological problems is able to get the kind of high-capacity weapons that this individual in Newtown obtained and gun down our kids," Obama said.

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