In the six short weeks since the Newtown, Connecticut shootings that killed 20 children, there have been 1,200 gun related deaths in America, Vice President Joe Biden said today in a Google+ chat about reducing gun violence.
That is unacceptable. It’s unacceptable that in most states anyone can buy a gun at a gun show without a background check. It’s unacceptable that it’s not terribly difficult to buy an assault weapon that can fire 20 to 30 rounds a minute. It’s unacceptable that 8 children die every day from gun violence. It’s unacceptable that we say nothing.
“Make your voices heard,” Biden said when asked what people can do to get reasonable gun legislation passed. “This town listens when people rise up and speak.”
That’s what we are determined to do. A group of Mom Bloggers, spearheaded by The Chicago Moms, and including Silicon Valley Mamas and my blog, MomsLA, have teamed up to create #LouderThanGuns to get our voices heard about stricter gun laws.
We will be blogging every week for four weeks and linking up to other blogs in the hopes that some kind of reasonable gun control laws can be passed.
And let me stress the word “reasonable.” No one is asking that guns be “ripped from your cold dead hands” to misquote Charlton Heston. Guns aren’t going anywhere.
America has a culture of gun ownership, said Biden who proudly owns shotguns. It’s not about taking guns out of the hands of good people, he said. “It’s about keeping all guns out of the hands of bad people.”
The Google+ chat was moderated by Hari Sreenivasan from PBS NewsHour and included Guy Kawasaki, Vlogger Phil Defranco, and therapist, vlogger, and friend Kimberley Clayton Blaine.
The Vice President hosted the chat on the same day that Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill to ban assault weapons and high capacity ammunition clips. Defranco asked Biden why so much effort is going to assault weapons when they are responsible for less than 1 percent of gun deaths annually. Biden said police overwhelmingly support the ban because they are outgunned.
Blaine asked for clarification as to what the administration is proposing for schools beyond more police protection? Biden noted that the prevention measures that President Obama proposed include $40 million for Project Aware, a program that would help school districts identify students at risk.
$40 million doesn’t seem like much money (it’s part of a proposed $150 million Comprehensive School Safety Program), but Biden said that it’s a program that school districts can pilot and if it works they can find ways to fund it themselves.
Banning assault weapons, giving money to schools to help kids, and making it harder for bad people to get guns. It all sounds great, but we need to do everything we can to make it happen.
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