President Barack Obama has appealed to ordinary Americans to lobby members of Congress over gun control to counter the power of the pro-gun lobby.
In an opinion article written for the Connecticut Post, Obama urged people to ask their politicians “why getting an A-grade from the gun lobby is more important than giving parents some peace of mind when they drop their child off for first grade.”
On Wednesday, Obama laid out a plan to require criminal background checks on all gun sales, ban “military-style” assault weapons, limit magazines to 10 rounds, and strengthen penalties for gun trafficking.
The proposals have provided highly controversial with several sheriffs across the country vowing not to enforce restrictions that could be imposed by Congress or by executive order.
And, in Texas, a lawmaker has authored the Firearm Protection Act, which he says would “make any federal law banning semiautomatic firearms or limiting the size of gun magazines unenforceable within the state’s boundaries.”
In his Connecticut Post article, Obama admitted of his gun-control plans that “none of this will be easy.”
“Already we’re seeing pundits, politicians, and special interest lobbyists warning of a tyrannical, all-out assault on liberty — not because it’s true, but because it gins up fear, or higher ratings, or more revenue for themselves,” the president wrote.
“The truth is, there’s only one voice powerful enough to make this happen: yours. If you think we’ve suffered too much pain to allow this to continue, put down the paper, turn off the computer, and get your Members of Congress on record,” he wrote.
In our concern for the rights of people with mental illness, we have come to neglect the rights of ordinary Americans to be safe from the fear of being shot — at home and at schools, in movie theaters, houses of worship and shopping malls.
Vanity Fair and the Associated Press have reported that Mitt Romney has put huge sums of money into investments in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. Is he avoiding paying U.S. taxes by having money in those tax havens? Was he trying to hedge against the dollar by having a Swiss bank account? We asked some ordinary Americans what they think of Mitt Romney’s financial arrangements.
Just over a decade ago, Boston doctors began monitoring a population of 119 homeless people with health problems. The subjects’ average age was 47. Today roughly half of them are dead.
That toll is not atypical: a homeless person of any medical background is roughly four times more likely to die than a housed person of the same age. These deaths are often lonely, anonymous affairs. After being warehoused in a city coroner’s office for months, the body may be cremated and buried in a pauper’s field.
“Somebody dying on our streets—I think that’s as bad as it gets in America,” says Rebecca Kanis, director of the 100,000 Homes Campaign, a movement of more than a hundred community groups aiming to house most of the nation’s 110,000 chronically homeless by 2014. “We can do better than this.”
The campaign is introducing an unlikely tool to prevent these tragedies: a potentially life-saving mobile app being tested in several communities this summer. The “Homeless Connector” will eventually allow ordinary Americans on their way to class or home from work to identify the people most at risk of dying on the street, and to find them help.
President Obama wrote checks to struggling Americans, according to Washington Post book - Election 2012
President Obama has often been labeled professorial and aloof, a commander-in-chief who has had trouble connecting to the struggles of ordinary Americans, and trouble emoting.
But a new book by Washington Post reporter Eli Saslow offers a small window into Obama’s thinking as he hears from ordinary Americans. Each day, Obama reads ten letters that are carefully selected and offer a representative sampling of the 20,000 missives that arrive each day at the the White House for Obama.
It’s a humble, old-fashioned thing to do, writing to a president in a text- message era. Yet the letters are Obama’s eyes-and-ears as to what’s going on across the country.
“I can’t think of any other means through which Obama connects so directly to people’s everyday lives,” Saslow e-mailed me.
In his book “Ten Letters,” Saslow writes of the growing disconnect that Obama felt between the urgency of people’s problems and the slow grind of government in Washington…