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Tag: President Obama

White House Renews Calls for Stricter Gun Control Laws After Shooting of Journalists in Virginia

gunsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The horrific shooting of two Virginia journalists while they were broadcasting live on the air prompted President Obama to renew calls for stricter gun control.

“This is another example of gun violence that is becoming all too common in communities large and small all across the United States,” the president’s press secretary, John Earnest, told reporters at his daily press briefing.

“While there is no piece of legislation that will end all violence in this country, there are some commonsense things that only Congress can do that we know would have a tangible impact in reducing gun violence in this country.”

Other politicians and Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton joined the call for tougher gun laws.

“We have got to do something about gun violence. And I will take it on,” Clinton said. “There are many people who face it and know it, but then turn away.”

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe also pledged to push for stronger gun control.

“I put it up again last year. It never sees the light of day,” McAuliffe, a Democrat, said during an interview with the Washington radio station WTOP. “Everyone who purchases a gun in the Commonwealth of Virginia should have to go through a background check. You go into the store, you hand your license over. It doesn’t take … but three, four, maybe five minutes maximum.”

Other Stories of Interest

NYT Columnist: President Obama’s Justice Department Shows Hypocrisy

president obama state of unionBy Alec Karakatsanis
New York Times

Last month, President Obama used his clemency power to reduce the sentences of 46 federal prisoners locked up on drug-related charges. But for the last six years, his administration has worked repeatedly behind the scenes to ensure that tens of thousands of poor people — disproportionately minorities — languish in federal prison on sentences declared by the courts, and even the president himself, to be illegal and unjustifiable.

The case of Ezell Gilbert is emblematic of this injustice. In March 1997, he was sentenced to 24 years and four months in federal prison for possession with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of crack cocaine. Because of mandatory sentencing laws, Mr. Gilbert was automatically sentenced to a quarter-century in prison, though even the judge who sentenced him admitted that this was too harsh.

At his sentencing, Mr. Gilbert noted a legal error that improperly increased his sentence by approximately a decade based on a misclassification of one of his prior offenses. In 1999, without a lawyer, he filed a petition seeking his release. A court ruled against him.

Nearly 10 years later, the Supreme Court issued aruling in another prisoner’s case, confirming that Mr. Gilbert had been right. A public defender helped him file a new petition for immediate release in light of this new decision.

Mr. Obama’s Justice Department, however, convinced a Florida federal judge that even if Mr. Gilbert’s sentence was illegal, he had to remain in prison because prisoners should not be able to petition more than once for release. The “finality” of criminal cases was too important, the department argued, to allow prisoners more than one petition, even if a previous one was wrongly denied.

Gun Production More Than Doubles Under President Obama’s Presidency

gun rugerBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The number of guns manufactured in the U.S. more than doubled under President Barack Obama, according to a new ATF report. 

In the past four years beginning with 2010, gun production increase from 5.4 million to 10.8 million, AL.com reports. 

Guns manufactured in the U.S. grew 18% under George W. Bush and declined 9% under Bill Clinton.

The National Association of Gun Rights attributes the rise in gun ownership over fears that Obama wants to take away guns.

“President Obama has made it very clear he wants to strip away our gun rights, so people are going out and purchasing more firearms and ammunition,” said Joe Neville, director of political affairs at the National Association for Gun Rights.

Other Stories of Interest

President Obama Calls for Reformed Drug Sentences That Overwhelmingly Face Young Black Men

president obama state of unionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama on Thursday delivered a clear message Wednesday when he commuted the federal prison sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders: The time has come to overhaul a criminal justice system that locks away too many nonviolent offenders.

Obama also expressed concern that may of the nonviolent offenders who are incarcerated are young black men, CNN reports. 

During an impassioned speech at the annual NAACP convention in Philadelphia, Obama bemoaned the fact that inmates are confined to horrible prison conditions, including rape and solitary confinement, which he declared “have no place in any civilized country.”

“In too many places, black boys and black men, and Latino boys and Latino men, experience being treated different under the law,” Obama said, claiming his assertion wasn’t “anecdote” or “barber shop talk,” but instead backed by data.

Obama is trying to gain bipartisan support for reforming the current sentencing laws.

House Republicans Lash Out at Homeland Security After Pier Killing

US CapitolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

House Republicans expressed outrage over the Obama administration’s release of an immigrant who is accused of later murdering a woman in San Francisco, The Associated Press reports. 

The Mexican National Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez had a long criminal record and was released from federal custody in San Francisco, where he is accused of committing murder.

Republicans were angry that the man was turned over to San Francisco, a so-called “sanctuary city” that minimizes cooperation with federal authorities over immigration issues.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson responded that he will explore whether a new approach is needed.

“I want to evaluate whether some discretion can be built into the process so when we’re faced with a choice like that, we can make the best decision for the purposes of public safety,” Johnson told the House Judiciary Committee.

Kathryn Steinle was murdered on July 1 on a popular pier in broad daylight.

Secret Service, Obama, Former Presidents Celebrate Agency’s 150th anniversary

Secret Service photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama and other four former presidents joined Secret Service officials to celebrate the agency’s 150th anniversary.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secret Service Director Joe Clancy gave brief speeches at the small, private gathering inside the National Archives building Tuesday, CNN reports. 

The nation’s four living former presidents – Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush – delivered video speeches in what CNN described as “a rare and poignant tribute that could only be reserved for the Secret Service.”

This come amidst troubles in the agency that caused a shakeup in leadership, but officials managed to stay clear of that subject during the celebration.

Secret Service Adding Metal Spikes to White House Fence to Stop Would-Be Intruders

white house big photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The White House fence is about to become a lot harder to jump.

After embarrassing security gaps, the Secret Service and the National Park Service are adding sharp metal spikes to the fence, The Associated Press reports. 

The spikes are meant to be temporary until a permanent solution is found.

The installation is expected to begin today and will be finished in about six months.

Both federal agencies plan to submit a final design for the fence to prevent would-be intruders from climbing over.

Other Stories of Interest

Sacramento Bee: Gun Laws Can Help Prevent Attacks Like South Carolina Church Shooting

The church where the shooting happened.

By Editorial Board
Sacramento Bee

Nine people are dead. A lone gunman is to blame.

The gun he was wielding? It might’ve been one he got from his father for his 21st birthday, no paperwork required. The state where he lives? South Carolina has some of the loosest gun-control laws in the country.

We know this story all too well.

We know it from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, where a lone gunman killed 20 children and six adults. We know it from Aurora, Colo., where a lone gunman killed 12 people in a packed movie theater. We know it from Tucson, where a lone gunman opened fire in a parking lot, killing six and wounding 13, including then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

And now there’s Charleston, S.C.

Police say Dylann Storm Roof, 21, walked into the historic Emanuel AME Church on Wednesday evening. He asked for the pastor, Clementa Pinckney, who happened to be a state senator. He sat down among the black congregants for 49 minutes and participated in Bible study. Then he opened fire. One witness said he reloaded five times.

The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the shooting as a hate crime.

How many more of these shootings must occur before we, as a nation, do something about it? That was what a clearly frustrated President Barack Obama wanted to know on Thursday.

“Once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,” Obama said.

To read more click here.