President Obama deserves congratulations for the new nuclear arms treaty with Russia. Reducing the number of nuclear bombs in the world is a good thing, and the Senate needs to ratify it as quickly as possible. So some of the big bullets are being removed as a threat to American citizens. But how about the .45 caliber-sized ones, Mr. President?
I am an ardent supporter of Barack Obama. The minute he announced his candidacy for president, I sent his campaign money. I bought Obama merchandise and gave it away to my friends. I volunteered to work on his campaign. I still have an "Obama '08" bumper sticker on my car.
But when it comes to the issue of his leadership on gun violence, I am extremely disappointed in my President. His first year in office is checkered with his actions and lack of actions that fill me with disillusionment. With regard to gun laws, this is not the leader I hoped Obama would be.
In February, '09, the Obama Administration failed to oppose a gun lobby amendment repealing District of Columbia gun regulations that were attached to a D.C. voting rights bill. In April '09, he remained silent on the 10th anniversary of the shootings at Columbine. And Obama really lost me when he signed legislation on May 22 of last year that allows loaded guns national parks.
The list goes on. In July, activists help defeat a gun lobby amendment that would have allowed the carrying of loaded, concealed weapons across state lines. Obama failed to speak out against the amendment. Later in August protesters began showing up with assault weapons at the President's town hall meetings, but the White House failed to condemn these security threats. Do you remember when it was deemed a threat to George W. Bush if someone showed up to one his public events wearing a t-shirt critical of him?
Every day in America, 85 people lose their lives to gun violence. That is more than two classrooms of men, women and children -- every day. The President needs to show more leadership on an issue that has life and death consequences for many, many Americans.
According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (named after Press Secretary James Brady, who was shot in the head during the assassination attempt of Ronald Reagan), there have been at least 200 mass and high-profile shootings since Obama took office. It's time the President spoke up on this needless violence, and lead the fight to restrict easy access to guns.
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