The judge who sentenced Jared Lee Loughner to "seven life terms plus 140 years in Federal prison" wrote an op-ed in the LA Times this week calling for stricter gun control. Larry Alan Burns is a gun-owner, a Republican appointee, says he didn't vote for Obama and prefers Fox News to DailyKos. And he says we need to bring back the assault weapons ban... and make it stronger.
Bring back the assault weapons ban, and bring it back with some teeth this time. Ban the manufacture, importation, sale, transfer and possession of both assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Don't let people who already have them keep them. Don't let ones that have already been manufactured stay on the market. I don't care whether it's called gun control or a gun ban. I'm for it.
President Obama is expected to address the "fiscal cliff" this afternoon in the aftermath of the House's failure to pass the GOP "Plan B" proposal. The House has adjourned for the Christmas holiday.
Mother Jones posted a piece back after the Aurora shootings that has now been updated in light of the Sandy Hook murders that happened on Friday. Their point -- the country now has 300 million guns in circulation; up from 200 million in 1995. At the same time, there's a definitive increase in laws that have loosened gun owners abilities to carry those guns in more and more places.
The question is... have all of those guns and gun laws made us any safer? The gun lobby says yes. The analysis, however:
In the wake of the slaughters this summer at a Colorado movie theater and a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, we set out to track mass shootings in the United States over the last 30 years. We identified and analyzed 61 of them, and one striking pattern in the data is this: In not a single case was the killing stopped by a civilian using a gun. Moreover, we found that the rate of mass shootings has increased in recent years—at a time when America has been flooded with millions of additional firearms and a barrage of new laws has made it easier than ever to carry them in public. And in recent rampages in which armed civilians attempted to intervene, they not only failed to stop the shooter but also were gravely wounded or killed.
So, if we're still waiting for that one time that all of these guns and all of these gun laws actually brings down a mass murderer -- might now be a time to consider other measures aimed at keeping guns out of the wrong hands? (And, perhaps, getting people more mental health help?)
Verbatim statement today from Captain Mark Kelly, husband of Gabrielle Giffords:
I just woke up in my hotel room in Beijing, China to learn that another mass shooting has taken place - this time at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in CT. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and the entire community of Newtown, CT. I just spoke to Gabby, and she sends her prayers from Tucson.
As we mourn, we must sound a call for our leaders to stand up and do what is right. This time our response must consist of more than regret, sorrow, and condolence. The children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and all victims of gun violence deserve leaders who have the courage to participate in a meaningful discussion about our gun laws - and how they can be reformed and better enforced to prevent gun violence and death in America. This can no longer wait. Share
President Obama plans to deliver a statement on the Connecticut school shooting at 2:15 p.m. Central time.
Here's the White House's YouTube version:
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Construction of a skybridge will close part of North State periodically.
"Once again the needle barely budged for women aspiring to top business leadership."
Attend a free event to help distressed homeowners at risk of foreclosure.
For our Question o' the Week this week, we asked a simple question in social media. We got an amazing line-up of answers in 24 hours. Please feel free to log in and post your answers below as well.
Lindsey Lee My kids. So cheesy, but true...
Jason Stanfield Great music.
Stephanie Fondren Bracey My beautiful 8-year-old daughter who has the happiest most innocent spirit and a heart of gold!
Iam ScrapDirty Perfection.
Charles Walter Jett Other people's artwork. Makes me step up my game when I see really good work.
H Charles Johnson Failure.
Marc Rolph H Charles Johnson.
Narada Thijs Snyder Not being told to hurry.
John Agwazim The way ants live.
Shuntina Johnson Sunsets, right before the rain.
Nicki Findley Nichols The feeling of freedom, whether its being silly with my 4-year-old or country road riding with the windows down and the music cranked.
Jarrod Parker Conquistadors.
Jessica Erin Eubanks The positive energy of others expressing themselves!
Terena Watkins Bell Being able to be an awesome single mom to my girls & showing them how to be strong, independent Christians.
Micah Smith Posters with animals that say motivational statements. Thank you, tiny cocker spaniel. I will "go for it."
Lisa Parenteau My mother. The strongest person I know.
Yasmeen Banu Sincere kindness.
Pam Greer What inspires me? I'm inspired each day that I am allowed to wake up in good health and right mind by God to tackle life. Most people do not live to see another day; however, I did today.
Gregory Smith Frank Zappa.
Tony Davenport People who celebrate unity.
Brandon Ainsworth Life, and the endless possibilities that it has to offer. So much to do, so little time.
Brittany Hammons Simmons Nature's beauty! I breathe it in and it is so serene.
Tom Head Finding human dignity in unexpected places.
Laurel Isbister Irby People who rescue animals and help them live new lives.
Andrew Forbes ·The cancer patients I work with at Batson Children's hospital.
Jarrod Parker · Curious people.
Jill Conner Browne People doing good for goodness' sake—for people (and/or animals!) who can't "repay" the kindness.
Kass Welchlin When my elders live a life full of conviction, follow their dreams and not give up on life.
Nola Kay Pearson Gibson All of the above and lifelong learning.
Karole Sessums The Courage of Others.
Melissa Kelly Deadlines.
Ginger Williams-Cook Teachers.
Sabir Abdul-Haqq Dedication
Olga Lynette Henderson Hanson Seeing, listening, existing--all inspire me to continue trying, caring, doing.
Edward Peter Cole II To witness ... random acts of kindness!
Jehrod Alain What inspires me is the spiritual, that which is beyond our physical limitations. My dreams inspire me. Love inspires me.
Rachel Jarman Myers The Sonic Boom!
Don Allan Mitchell Mississippi.
Jan Michaels · My almost 83-year-old father who still runs his own business and is caretaker of his wife ...