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President Obama and The White House have responded to 32 petitions on We The People as required when the 25,000 signature threshold is crossed. I am not able to embed his YouTube remarks, but what follows is the response accompanying the video on the We The People website. It is authored by Bruce Reed, Chief of Staff to Vice President Joe Biden, who has been tasked with making policy recommendations by January.

By Bruce Reed

In the days since the tragedy in Newtown, Americans from all over the country have called for action to deter mass shootings and reduce gun violence. Hundreds of thousands of you have signed petitions on the White House's We the People petitions platform.

I'm writing you today to thank you for speaking up, to update you on an important development, and to encourage you to continue engaging with the White House on this critical issue.

First, you should know that President Obama is paying close to attention to the public response to this tragedy. In fact, he sat down to record a message specifically for those of you who have joined the conversation using We the People. Watch it now:

Reed continues,
OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE RESPONSE TO
Start the process to enact Federal Gun control reforms. and 31 other petitions
A Message from President Obama about Your Petition on Reducing Gun Violence
By Bruce Reed

In the days since the tragedy in Newtown, Americans from all over the country have called for action to deter mass shootings and reduce gun violence. Hundreds of thousands of you have signed petitions on the White House's We the People petitions platform.

I'm writing you today to thank you for speaking up, to update you on an important development, and to encourage you to continue engaging with the White House on this critical issue.

First, you should know that President Obama is paying close to attention to the public response to this tragedy. In fact, he sat down to record a message specifically for those of you who have joined the conversation using We the People. Watch it now:

On Wednesday, the President outlined a series of first steps we can take to begin the work of ending this cycle of violence. This is what he said:

We know this is a complex issue that stirs deeply held passions and political divides. And as I said on Sunday night, there's no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. We're going to need to work on making access to mental health care at least as easy as access to a gun. We're going to need to look more closely at a culture that all too often glorifies guns and violence. And any actions we must take must begin inside the home and inside our hearts.

But the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. The fact that we can't prevent every act of violence doesn't mean we can't steadily reduce the violence, and prevent the very worst violence.

Vice President Biden has been asked to work with members of the Administration, Congress, and the general public to come up with a set of concrete policy proposals by next month -- proposals the President intends to push swiftly. The President asked the Vice President to lead this effort in part because he wrote and passed the 1994 Crime Bill that helped law enforcement bring down the rate of violent crime in America. That bill included the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.

As the Vice President's Chief of Staff, I'm going to do everything I can to ensure we run a process that includes perspectives from all sides of the issue, which is why I wanted to respond to your petition myself. Two decades ago, as domestic policy adviser in the Clinton White House, I first worked with Joe Biden as he fought to enact the Crime Bill, the assault weapons ban, and the Brady Bill. I will never forget what a key role the voices of concerned citizens like you played in that vital process.

The President called on Congress to pass important legislation "banning the sale of military-style assault weapons," "banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips," and "requiring background checks before all gun purchases, so that criminals can’t take advantage of legal loopholes to buy a gun from somebody who won’t take the responsibility of doing a background check at all."

An issue this serious and complex isn't going to be resolved with a single legislative proposal or policy prescription. And let's be clear, any action we take will respect the Second Amendment. As the President said:

Look, like the majority of Americans, I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. This country has a strong tradition of gun ownership that's been handed down from generation to generation. Obviously across the country there are regional differences. There are differences between how people feel in urban areas and rural areas. And the fact is the vast majority of gun owners in America are responsible -- they buy their guns legally and they use them safely, whether for hunting or sport shooting, collection or protection.

But you know what, I am also betting that the majority -- the vast majority -- of responsible, law-abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few from buying a weapon of war. I'm willing to bet that they don't think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas -- that an unbalanced man shouldn't be able to get his hands on a military-style assault rifle so easily; that in this age of technology, we should be able to check someone's criminal records before he or she can check out at a gun show; that if we work harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be fewer atrocities like the one in Newtown -- or any of the lesser-known tragedies that visit small towns and big cities all across America every day.

The President said it best: "Ultimately if this effort is to succeed it's going to require the help of the American people -- it's going to require all of you. If we're going to change things, it's going to take a wave of Americans -- mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, pastors, law enforcement, mental health professionals -- and, yes, gun owners -- standing up and saying 'enough' on behalf of our kids."

So let's continue this conversation and get something meaningful done. If you have additional ideas and are interested in further engagement with the White House on this issue, please let us know and share your thoughts here:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

Thank you for speaking out and staying involved.

Bruce Reed is Chief of Staff to Vice President Biden

UPDATE: Here is the video of President Obama's remarks:
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Comment Preferences

  •  Published via iPad (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    x, gramofsam1, FiredUpInCA, theKgirls, SoCalSal

    I'll update if I'm able to embed the video from my desktop. My "takeaway" from my first viewing of President Pbama's remarks is that he's asking us to stay engaged, calling on our members of Congress "as often as necessary."

    You can find your Senator's phone number here

    Current House members are here, although their local offices might be better for the foreseeable future!

    If you have a new Senator or Representative starting in January, now would be an excellent time to engage!

  •  Who else watched Rep Huelskamp (R-KS) on (5+ / 0-)

    Morning Joe? Man he is a loon even Scarborough was left speechless. He accused Pres. Obama of politicizing the shooting by calling for gun control but Huelskamp had no problem politicizing the shooting by blame Evil video games and Evil Hollywood

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:07:49 AM PST

    •  Joe kept saying (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LaurenMonica, CDH in Brooklyn, Sylv

      "Congressman I agree with you, but" I would to know exactly what Joe agreed with him on - what a spectacular segment! I'm beginning to think the Mayans really meant the end of the Republican crazy world.

      I'm pretty tired of being told what I care about.

      by hulibow on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:17:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Someone needs to tell these guys that these (5+ / 0-)

      movies and games are distributed worldwide, but we are the only country that has this problem. When Australia and Scotland had massacres, they changed their laws. Immediately. They didn't restrict movies or video games, just guns. And there was never another massacre.

      As Ezra Klein pointed out, by stopping the discussion, they are themselves politicizing it.

      Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space, 'cause there's bugger all down here on earth... Monty Python

      by theKgirls on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:17:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They also don't have God in their schools. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theKgirls, Sylv

        Something we should emulate, perhaps?

        After all, the belief that, "why not, we'll all go to the afterlife, anyway!" may comfort any lingering doubts these nuts have as they enter the schools, ready to go.

        That's... only a little bit sarcastic, on my part. I actually do wonder if fervent religion contributes to a fatalistic worldview...

    •  Huelskamp is so dumb on so many... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LaurenMonica, CDH in Brooklyn, Sylv

      ...things, so this is not a surprise, eh?

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:18:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I haven't watched Morning Joe (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LaurenMonica

      in quite awhile. But, I'm on Twitter so invariably I get the commentary on the on-going stupidity...whether Joe's or his guests' or both! Tim Huelskamp's segment certainly inspired some choice words today!

  •  It is week past time to do SOMETHING (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    draghnfly, CDH in Brooklyn, SoCalSal

    meaningful. I hope this is much more than studies and posturing.

    Internet sales MUST go -- no ifs, ands or buts.

    When we went house hunting, we were pre-qualified for a loan -- we didn't have a specific house in mind and we didn't have a specific number we needed, but the bank let buyers know that we were qualified buyers. Why can't we prequalify gun buyers? If they are planning on going to a gun show, they should start the background check and three day waiting period by Wednesday. No paperwork, no admission into the show... Close the f@$&ing loopholes!

    Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space, 'cause there's bugger all down here on earth... Monty Python

    by theKgirls on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:12:30 AM PST

    •  Great to see you theKgirls... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theKgirls, SoCalSal

      Hope you and daughters are doing well!

      Over at BPI Campus, our old friend NCrissieB has some typically astute observations. I'm 100% supportive of her main goals in gun law reform:

      Consistent with that core principal, we need common sense gun safety legislation that reinstates the assault weapon ban, fixes the gun checks system, closes the gun show loophole, bans ammunition clips that hold more than 10 rounds, heavily taxes ammunition, and makes it easier for police to trace guns that are used in a crime and to revoke the licenses of corrupt gun dealers.
      Here's the link to her full post (still miss her here!):

      Morning Feature – Yes, We Should Politicize the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

    •  Not Optimistic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CDH in Brooklyn
      meaningful. I hope this is much more than studies and posturing.
      I am not optimistic. Washington basically wants this one to just go away as quickly and as quietly as possible.

      There will be talking, reports and some token legislation that allows  politicians a photo op, but changes nothing of substance.

      •  You have plenty of reason (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevej, SoCalSal

        to feel that way based on everything that's happened at least as far back as Bush allowing the sunset of Reagan's assault weapons ban. I, however, am more cautiously optimistic. I think that there are quite a few in "Washington" who genuinely want to do the right thing, and the ground is shifting under others (Manchin, for example).

        So long as Biden doesn't try to overreach, I think there is a very good chance that some meaningful legislation can be passed. The key, though, will be the attention span of the American people. We can't just move on with the flow of the news cycle. We have to keep the pressure on. Especially after the NRA mounts its counter-offensive this afternoon.

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