White House promises ‘non-traditional’ State of the Union

DSC_0305By JULIE PACE, AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is promising President Barack Obama will deliver a “non-traditional” State of the Union address next month, eschewing the standard litany of policy proposals for a broader discussion on the challenges facing the country.

The format reflects the legislative reality for Obama’s final year in office. Much of what the White House and the Republican-led Congress could realistically achieve in an election year is already underway, including discussions on criminal justice reform, and the ticking clock on Obama’s presidency leaves little time to jumpstart major new initiatives.

The president is scheduled to deliver his last State of the Union on Jan. 12, less than three weeks before Americans begin voting in the presidential primaries.

In a briefing for reporters Thursday, White House officials said Obama’s agenda for his last year in office includes securing congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, additional steps to address climate change, and bolstering gun control measures. The latter steps will be taken through executive action, though officials wouldn’t say whether the measures would be ready in time for Obama’s address to Congress.

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Reid: Dems ‘maybe’ to blame on gun bill losses Associated Press Newswires

By ERICA WERNER, AP Congressional Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said Thursday his party has tried everything to get gun control legislation through Congress and still keeps losing to the National Rifle Association.

Reid said Democrats themselves may be to blame — or maybe voters are gullible, even after multiple mass shootings.

The comments from the Nevada Democrat in an interview with The Associated Press reflect frustrations in his caucus, where some lawmakers are deeply perturbed over congressional inaction on guns. Several attempts by Democrats to force votes on the issue this month failed to garner even a Senate majority in favor of background checks or keeping suspected terrorists from buying guns.DSC_0215

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Forests grapple with 8,500 gun incidents

DSC_0305Nick Penzenstadler, USA TODAY 9:14 a.m. EDT August 11, 2015

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — Perched around a secluded campfire in the Rocky Mountains, Glenn Martin jerked forward, said, “Ow,” and died. The wayward bullet that struck him in the national forest has campers and other users calling for changes in recreational shooting policy.

Martin, 60, died July 3 in the Pike & San Isabel National Forest, 30 miles southwest of Denver. The 3.1-million-acre forest holds the record for the most gun-related violations reported in the country, a review of federal records by the USA TODAY Media Network shows.

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Crapo Leads Effort to Stop Social Security Administration’s Backdoor Gun Grab

Washington, D.C. –Idaho Senator Mike Crapo is leading a group of 25 senators in calling on the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) to halt its plan to unfairly target the Second Amendment rights of millions of Social Security beneficiaries. In a letter to the SSA Acting Administrator, the senators call into question the Administration’s recently announced plan to begin reporting millions of Social Security beneficiaries to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Crapo says that flagging these individuals in the NICS database —a database designed to prevent gun sales to felons, drug addicts, illegal or unlawful immigrants and others—is unnecessary and misguided.

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Chris W. Cox on our Broken Background Check System

Members of Congress should reject the idea that expanding a broken background check system will make anyone safer. The American people deserve better than politicians who continue to pursue failed policy agendas. Americans deserve to be safe in their communities and to have their Second Amendment rights respected. We can achieve both.

Read more at US News & World Report

ILA statement on Manchin-Toomey

Fairfax, Va. – Expanding background checks at gun shows will not prevent the next shooting, will not solve violent crime and will not keep our kids safe in schools. While the overwhelming rejection of President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg’s “universal” background check agenda is a positive development, we have a broken mental health system that is not going to be fixed with more background checks at gun shows.

Read more at RNA-ILA.