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East Bay Politicians Praise President's Gun Control Plans

Congressional and state representatives say President Obama is on the right track

East Bay political leaders praised President Obama's announcement Wednesday that he was taking executive action to enact gun control legislation.

The presidentincluding ones to enhance background checks and expand the options for mental health professionals to report threats of violence.

He also asked Congress to approve legislation for universal background checks on gun purchases, restore a ban on assault weapons and limit magazines to 10 bullets.

Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez) was quick to praise the president's actions.

“I applaud President Obama for moving so quickly to develop a comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence in the United States and in our schools," said Miller. "I support his proposal and urge Congress to work quickly to pass it."

Miller added he will work with other congressional representatives to increase safety in the nation's schools.

"Nothing is more important than the safety of our children. We must act now,” he said.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) said she hopes Congress will quickly adopt measures to renew the ban on assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines as well as require background checks on all gun sales.

Lee added she wants to improve mental health and violence prevention programs.

“I am encouraged by the actions taken by President Obama today to protect our children and communities from gun violence," said Lee. "However, there is much more work to be done in Congress and I will continue to fight for common sense solutions to the violence that plagues our nation and our communities."

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) also announced his support of the president's directives.

“The president has put together a bold plan to reduce gun violence and Congress needs to enact the legislation called for, like the ban on assault weapons, without delay. We cannot just sit on the sidelines and wait for another tragedy to happen," said Swalwell. "It is long overdue for members of both parties to rise above partisan differences and do what is right to protect the American people.”

State representatives also praised the initiatives.

State Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) said she hopes to follow the president's lead at the State Capitol and adopt gun control measures at the state level.

"The president is setting the tone for the national conversation that has to take place.  I strongly agree with him that we need to take action in order to protect our children," said Hancock. "As someone who represents Oakland, I’ve seen the tragic consequences of gun violence - too many children are dying."

State Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) agreed.

“I applaud President Obama for presenting a comprehensive plan that will help reduce the gun violence ravaging our communities and, hopefully, stop the rash of mass shootings that have become an all-too-common occurrence," she said.

Last week, Skinner unveiled legislation to ban high capacity clip kits and enact safeguards on bullet sales.

Gun rights advocates, however, said President Obama's directives don't have a lot of teeth.

Charles Nichols, president of California Right to Carry, said the president's 23 executive orders require $5 billion in funding that Congress needs to approve.

He added the president doesn't have the authority to enact gun bans. That, he said, must come from Congress. Nichols said congressional approval of gun prohibitions is unlikely.

"President Obama's much hyped proposals were revealed this morning and despite all of the doomsday prophecies to the contrary, Mr. Obama all but conceded defeat," said Nichols.

Rob Rich January 19, 2013 at 07:52 AM
I assumed "Frank Mockery" was some conservative engaging In political theater & "Fred Eiger" was another stoner trying to mock conservatives in an over-the-top racist, sexist parody, like a modern day Archie Bunker.
Nadja Adolf January 19, 2013 at 08:29 AM
Tim, liberals *want* African-Americans to be undereducated, dependent on welfare, and disarmed. Otherwise they'd be more likely to vote for Republicans, Libertarians, and other parties.
Nadja Adolf January 19, 2013 at 08:34 AM
I'll ask you again. Please tell us whether your academic gown has sleeves or a hood, and what color bands (AKA racing stripes.) All I've seen from you so far is obscenities, racist and other bigoted remarks, and a poorly digested thesaurus.
Nadja Adolf January 19, 2013 at 08:38 AM
Today, the 19th, is Gun Appreciation Day. Go to the range, visit a sporting goods store, buy that firearm you've been putting off as self-indulgence. Get a brick of .22 for target practice and rabbit hunting.
Rob Rich January 19, 2013 at 08:48 AM
And on Monday, MLK Day, seek absolution, as we honor the non-violent peacemaker who foretold his own demise. If he had chosen to arm himself, in those days he would have been a Black Panther?
Nadja Adolf January 19, 2013 at 09:33 AM
Actually, Dr. King was surrounded by armed bodyguards throughout most of his career as a leader and had applied for a pistol permit. Other groups included the "Deacons for Defense." His Glenn Smiley of the Fellowship of Reconciliation described Dr. King's house as an "arsenal." Mr. Smiley was involved in Dr. King's unilateral disarmament which led to his death. Two activists, including Bayard Rustin an African-American Communist Party member and advocate, and the aforementioned Glenn Smiley, a white member of the fellowship of reconciliation pressured Dr. King to adopt "Gandhian principles" as they understood them, and renounce self-defense. An official at Morehouse College concurred and also pressured him to abandon his armed bodyguards, and forget the carry permit he had applied for, in order to embrace the Gandhian ideal. In actuality, Gandhi considered the disarming of Indian civilians to be one of the worst crimes of the British against the people of the subcontinent. Rustin was in part motivated by the potential for creating a "martyr" for propaganda purposes. The rest is history.
Rob Rich January 19, 2013 at 05:30 PM
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's "unilateral disarmament ... led to his death"? That might fit nicely into a world view that finds 300,000,000 guns in our nation to be too few, but that doesn't make it so. There are plenty of statistics that challenge the efficacy of gun control. No need to make stuff up.
David January 19, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Rob, that's hilarious. I'm sure you like your fellow liberals were cursing Reagan every day of his wonderful (2nd best) presidency. Don't start waxing nostalgic now, some of us actually remember the "loyal opposition's" commentary then. By the way, I long for the days of Coolidge, our best President.
David January 19, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Perhaps. Read about the Deacons for Defense http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-01-15/local/36384910_1_gun-control-pro-gun-second-amendment-foundation “The Klan would drive through our neighborhood shooting at us, shooting into our homes,” recalled Hicks, 66, who grew up in Bogalusa, La., and has been a civil rights activist in the District for more than 35 years. “The black men in the community wouldn’t stand for it. You shoot at us, we shoot back at you. I’m convinced that without our guns, my family and many other black people would not be alive today.”
Benevolus January 19, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Don't forget they are abortion supporting horrifically killing 3,000 infants daily.
Benevolus January 19, 2013 at 06:41 PM
First machine gun was invented in 1712 before the Constitution. They did know about rapid firing weapons yet chose not to regulate ownership of firearms.
Benevolus January 19, 2013 at 06:44 PM
Don't forget cannons, a weapon of war, they also chose not to regulate.
Benevolus January 19, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Here are quotes from Reagan: "You won't get gun control by disarming law-abiding citizens. There's only one way to get real gun control: Disarm the thugs and the criminals, lock them up and if you don't actually throw away the key, at least lose it for a long time... It's a nasty truth, but those who seek to inflict harm are not fazed by gun controllers. I happen to know this from personal experience." After surviving John Hinckley's assassination attempt in 1981. "Our nation was built and civilized by men and women who used guns in self-defense and in pursuit of peace. One wonders indeed, if the rising crime rate, isn't due as much as anything to the criminal's instinctive knowledge that the average victim no longer has means of self-protection." "There are those in America today who have come to depend absolutely on government for their security. And when government fails they seek to rectify that failure in the form of granting government more power. So, as government has failed to control crime and violence with the means given it by the Constitution, they seek to give it more power at the expense of the Constitution. But in doing so, in their willingness to give up their arms in the name of safety, they are really giving up their protection from what has always been the chief source of despotism -- government."
Rob Rich January 19, 2013 at 07:25 PM
It does feel funny citing Reagan. Merely intended to demonstrate how far on the pendulum some of today's extremists have swung from their iconic torchbearer.
David January 19, 2013 at 11:56 PM
Rob, your memory fails you. If Reagan came back now, you'd hate him just as much as you did 30 years ago. The current "extremists" are just as "extreme" as you thought Reagan was. You hated his tax cuts, you hated his domestic spending cuts, you hated his military plans, you hated his opposition to the Soviets. Just like you feel about current "extreme" Republicans.
David January 20, 2013 at 12:14 AM
But hey, Rob, if you've come around to Reagan's "Medicare will bring a socialist dictatorship" viewpoint http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bejdhs3jGyw I'm with you. That's way more "extreme" than anything Paul Ryan's proposed.
Nadja Adolf January 20, 2013 at 07:48 AM
Perhaps you need to study the real Dr. King and the realities of the real civil rights movement. Dr. King was constantly under threat of assassination; these attempts were deterred by the knowledge that armed bodyguards surrounded him. Indeed, there were multiple plots against civil rights activists in that era. Perhaps you should read what Dr. John Salter and others had to say of their experiences. Following are some useful references; I have dozens more, and would be happy to escort you to the library at UC Berkeley to arrange interlibrary loans of of materials and even photocopies of original documents. http://www.keepandbeararms.com/information/XcIBViewItem.asp?id=2960 http://www.davekopel.com/NRO/2002/Her-Own-Bodyguard.htm http://www.ccrkba.org/?p=1484
Nadja Adolf January 20, 2013 at 07:51 AM
No, Mr. Rich, his unilateral disarmament made it very easy for those who wished to murder Dr. King to do so. You should read Dr. Salter's recollections of his experiences in the movement at that time. He found out years later, in a changed Mississippi, that the only reason he had not been murdered was that the Klan could not figure out how to take and kill him without some of them being killed or seriously injured. Law enforcement did not intervene when the Klan attacked people; not even the DOJ gave a squirrel's squinch.
Nadja Adolf January 20, 2013 at 07:53 AM
Professor Adam Winkler, hardly an advocate of the Second Amendment, noted that the KKK began as a gun control organization. “UCLA Constitutional law professor Adam Winkler–hardly likely to be mistaken for a fervent gun rights advocate–readily acknowledges bigotry as the father of “gun control,” as he explained in an interview with the Wall Street Journal: In his research for ‘Gunfight,’ Winkler also noted a close intersection between guns and racism. ‘It was a constant pressure among white racists to keep guns out of the hands of African-Americans, because they would rise up and revolt.’ he said. ‘The KKK began as a gun-control organization. Before the Civil War, blacks were never allowed to own guns. During the Civil War, blacks kept guns for the first time – either they served in the Union army and they were allowed to keep their guns, or they buy guns on the open market where for the first time there’s hundreds of thousands of guns flooding the marketplace after the war ends. So they arm up because they know who they’re dealing with in the South.’”
Rob Rich January 20, 2013 at 04:49 PM
Nadia, thanks for the links. I particularly liked "Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws," as we'll as David's early link to "Deacons for Defense." Just to be clear, I challenged your assertion that if King had been armed & accompanied by armed bodyguards that he would not have been assassinated in Memphis by James Earl Ray. For one so conversant w/facts, that seems, shall we say, rather speculative? Despite the hyperbole from many Obama-haters, our President has not suggested that American citizens lack the right to bear arms. The rubber meets the road on just what "sensible gun laws" we will elect to adopt in order to address a homicide rate that is unheard of for an industrialized country. I understand that Libertarians will likely say "none, " evidently believing that "but for" the nanny state's handwringing, the "Market" would have this problem solved faster than Rosey Grier stripped the gun from Sirhan Sirhan at the Ambassador Hotel. The rest of us have some hard work ahead to try to fix this mess while upholding the spirit & the letter of the Constitution.
Rob Rich January 20, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Fortunately only 5 shot at gun shows on Gun Appreciation Day. http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/5-hurt-in-shootings-at-gun-shows-in-Ohio-Ind-NC-4208485.php The Market is working! Profits are through the roof! If only we had more guns ...
Nadja Adolf January 20, 2013 at 11:23 PM
Ronald Reagan was a NeoCon; the same folks who brought you the Patriot Act and the NDAA with a lot of help from the Democrats. Liberals don't understand that Reagan isn't an "icon" except among NeoCons. Perhaps you don't remember his regime, but many conservatives considered him to be another McCain. Which is not a compliment.
Nadja Adolf January 20, 2013 at 11:25 PM
Asking again, Frank. If you're such a well-educated intellectual, please tell us your degree(s) and field(s). So far you sound a lot like a Democratic Party edition of Spiro Agnew, complete with undigested thesaurus.
Nadja Adolf January 20, 2013 at 11:29 PM
Five shootings amongst the literally thousands of individuals with no firearms experience cramming the gun shows because of concern over the potential loss of their Second Amendment Rights? Imagine the injuries if thousands of beginners took up skiing or skateboarding at one time. The thing that you are missing Rob is that people who haven't owned firearms in the past and likely would not have been particularly interested are running out and stocking up. Every time someone promotes a "gun control" measure we have people running out and buying them, and what is weird this time around is the prevalence of "Obama" stickers on the expensive cars in the parking lots.
Nadja Adolf January 20, 2013 at 11:38 PM
When Dr. King had armed bodyguards would be assailants were very concerned about the Deacons for Defense with their tastefully arranged rifles. Note that James Earl Ray shot from directly across the street and was seen by multiple witnesses as he fled. He would have been within range of a bodyguard with a rifle. I don't think you really understand the deterrent value of the armed bodyguards during the civil rights movement. There were actual shooting wars when the Klan invaded neighborhoods and shot at everyone and every window they saw. It was found that after the Klan had been shot at, they tended to go back to dancing around in the woods. You forget the elaborate plans the Klan carried out to kidnap, murder, and terrorize the people. You really need to read some of the citations I gave you, and we can go and arrange for interlibrary loan if you want to read more. Many in the Klan were police and military. They knew how to plan an operation - and they knew what the risks were. In the absence of bodyguards it was very easy for a Klansman or sympathizer to carry out what had been seen before as too dangerous to attempt.
Rob Rich January 21, 2013 at 06:23 PM
The people accidentally shooting each other on Gun Appreciation Day were shopping. Heck, Gary Lynn Wilson nailed 3 on his way in to the Dixie Gun & Knife Show on Saturday. While skiing is admittedly dangerous, it is quite frankly unheard of for a bunny sloper to take out 3 on the way in to the ski shoppe. The tally for Gun Appreciation Day demonstrates that there are far too many idiots out there with guns in America today.
David January 22, 2013 at 12:03 AM
Last ski season, Rob: http://sports.espn.go.com/action/snowboarding/news/story?id=5965793 But the season also has gotten off to a deadly start: Ten people have died inbounds at ski areas since Dec. 18. At Oregon's Mt. Hood Meadows, a 15-year-old male snowboarder died Dec. 22. On Christmas Eve, a 23-year-old male snowboarder collided with a 5-year-old girl and her mother at Hogadon Ski Area, south of Casper, Wyo. The snowboarder and the young girl both died from chest injuries sustained during the collision. ... As our President would say: "If just one child's life can be saved by banning snowboarding..."
Nadja Adolf January 22, 2013 at 05:17 AM
How could this be? Chicago has very strict firearms bans.
Nadja Adolf January 22, 2013 at 05:17 AM
How could this be? Chicago has very strict firearms bans.
Stephen Carbonaro January 22, 2013 at 07:14 AM
While you are at it, get some training in firearms safety. If you have already, then take a refresher. A firearm, any firearm, is a potentially dangerous thing, much like a motorcycle. I wouldn't recommend anyone riding until they had completed a course in safety. Same applies to cars, but the training is offered by the high schools drivers ed class. Nothing wrong with a "marksman ed" requirement. Thoughts?

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