We Need New Federal Gun Control Laws Because 'Youth Initiatives' Worked in Minneapolis

Speaking in Minneapolis yesterday, President Obama repeated his call for requiring all gun buyers to undergo background checks, limiting the capacity of newly produced magazines, and reinstating the federal ban on "assault weapons." Here is how The New York Times describes his speech:

In a city once called "Murderapolis" for its homicide rate in the 1990s, the president cited successful gun-violence prevention efforts here as evidence that new national laws are needed to reduce the number of shootings across the country....

In the 1990s, Minneapolis experienced an explosion of drug- and gang-related violence, which led to a series of local measures aimed at reducing gun violence that has brought down the city’s murder rate.

What sort of measures? The only example the Times offers is "programs directed at rehabilitating young people who have committed violent crimes." Or as Obama put it in his speech, "You launched a series of youth initiatives that have reduced the number of young people injured by guns by 40 percent." In what sense does the putative success of those initiatives reinforce the case for the gun control measures Obama is pushing?

For those who are not persuaded that we need a new, broader ban on "assault weapons" because "youth initiatives" worked in Minneapolis, Obama argued that "we don’t have to agree on everything to agree it's time to do something." But we do have to agree on something to agree it should be done, don't we? Maybe not: 

No law or set of laws can keep our children completely safe. But if there's even one thing we can do, if there's just one life we can save, we've got an obligation to try....

The only way we can reduce gun violence in this country is if the American people decide it's important....

That's why I need everybody who's listening to keep the pressure on your member of Congress to do the right thing. Ask them if they support common-sense reforms like requiring universal background checks, or restoring the ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines....

And tell them now is the time for action. That we're not going to wait until the next Newtown or the next Aurora.  We're not going to wait until after we lose more innocent Americans on street corners all across the country.  We're not going to wait until somebody else's father or son are murdered....

If there's even one thing we can do to keep our children and our community safe, if there's just one step we can take to prevent more families from feeling what they feel after they've lost a loved one, we've got an obligation to take that step...

There won't be perfect solutions. We're not going to save every life. But we can make a difference. And that's our responsibility as Americans.

Obama never explains exactly how the laws he wants would prevent mass shootings. But if they would, he says, don't we have a responsibility as Americans to support them? And since "the only way we can reduce gun violence in this country is if the American people decide it's important," we will reduce gun violence if we decide it's important, no matter what harebrained legislation results from that sentiment. Above all, we must act now, before anyone has time to spot the president's logical leaps.

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  • Anonymous Coward||

    Obama argued that "we don’t have to agree on everything to agree it's time to do something."

    MATT DAMON DO SOMETHING.

  • Tim||

    Unless we're talking failing public schools, in which case we do nothing.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Ah so you agree, we need to spend moar!

  • R C Dean||

    I agree.

    Its time to get rid of gun free zones, allow CCW reciprocity, and turn the background check function over to an independent organization that is strictly forbidden, with criminal penalties, to disclose any information relating to gun purchases to any government agency.

  • MJGreen||

    You forgot to describe those as "common sense."

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    You want HIPAA for guns? That could get messy. Just make sure an surfer cop doesn't sweet talk your gunsmith into divulging your info.

  • ||

    Obama is grandstanding and being deliberately vague and obtuse on an issue he knows he won't win on? I'm shocked!

  • fish||

    Quiet you....I heard on the radio yesterday that the president has CONSENSUS following yesterdays appearance.

    CONSENSUS Dammit!

  • Gladstone||

    Can't spell consensus without "con."

  • AlmightyJB||

    Fuck him and fuck all the dicks in the media who told everyone gun control would not be on his agenda second term. It is his agenda. Fucking piece of shit. Fuck him.

  • John||

    Everything this guy says is just so mind numbingly stupid. It is like he puts some kind of magical spell on his supporters. How could anyone listen to this shit and not think the speaker is a complete moron?

  • ||

    Well, they could be a mindless partisan sheep. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's the case.

  • Tim||

    Bah.

  • Almanian.||

    +1 nocturnal count

  • Redmanfms||

    How could anyone listen to this shit and not think the speaker is a complete moron?

    Because they, also, are morons.

  • GILMORE||

    I was sort of wondering that.

    I mean, the bald statement,

    "we don’t have to agree on everything to agree it's time to do something"

    ...is just so stupid on the face of it that it boggles the mind.

    If you believe it even has any internal logic, it is still self-contradictory. I don't think it means anything at all.

    He keeps referring to "common sense" ideas.

    calling 'making many millions of americans criminals overnight in vain hope that *even only one* person is less likely to get shot' /= 'common sense'

    this is like his 'balanced' tax approach.

    Balanced = we raise taxes. and we raise spending. Balanced

  • GILMORE||

    There are times when life imitates art.

    One of my favorite catchphrases of all time,

    "...Because life is precious, and god, and the Bible..."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9AWIhOwlmo

  • John||

    I am reminded of a story I heard about the Rolling Stones sometimes playing Popeye the Sailor Man at some of their concerts after they first hit it big. They played it out of frustration because all the crowd did was scream. And no one ever noticed they played it because it didn't matter what they played. That is Obama. Hell he might as well get up and read Green Eggs and Ham or Where the Sidewalk Ends, his supporters will act the same regardless.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

  • ||

    What's worse, they think this real-life Steve Urkel is cool. COOL. How? The partisan mind is the densest form of matter in the universe.

  • ||

    Dark matter is a myth! All that missing mass is hidden in partisan skulls!

  • ||

    The best part is that there literally isn't one thing where he's even remotely what they say he is. He's not a good speaker. He's not intelligent and got steamrolled in the first debate like a little bitch. He can't throw a pitch or shoot baskets. He's a complete hypocrite. His staff is mind-blowingly incompetent. His administration is the opposite of transparent. And so on.

    It's almost as if partisans are retarded. Wait, almost?

  • nicole||

    They do sometimes admit that he wears mom jeans, which is true.

  • HellsBells||

    A blatant play for the soccer mom vote.

  • ||

    Mom jeans are the coolest jeans of all. If you're retarded, that is.

  • Killazontherun||

    And his wife is uglier than shit on rye bread.

    Seriously, one headline last week said, Obama Loves Michelle's New Bangs!

    Of course he does, they hide her half Klingon heritage.

  • ||

    I thought she was a Wookie, not a Klingon. There's a difference, you know.

  • ||

    Don't make me come rip your arms off.

  • ||

    I suggest letting the Michelle win.

  • Killazontherun||

    That's the other half of her heritage.

  • HellsBells||

    I nearly snorted coffee out the nose on that one^

  • John||

    The pictures of her and Carli Bruni at Normandy a couple of years ago were classic. Here is Bruni this waifish Gallic beauty sitting perfectly dignified next to this American horse with a constant sneer on her face. But the media pretended Michelle was just so glamorous next to Carli.

  • ||

    The best part is that there literally isn't one thing where he's even remotely what they say he is.

    But he can handle the fuck out of a shotgun. I've seen the pictures.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    His staff is only incompetent if you think they are supposed to be helping, or at least not harming, America. That's not their purpose. Their purpose is to consolidate power.

    All summer long we thought they were a bunch of morons with no clue as to what they were doing with the campaign strategy. As it happens, they were playing the electorate like a fiddle.

  • nicole||

    When I first heard he was heading to Minneapolis for this, because they instituted some kind of gun control that then led to drops in homicide rate, I was like, "Gee, I can think of another city with tons of gun control that Obama could come to. He even lived here!" Kisses from Chicago, fuckface.

  • ||

    Such hostility, nicole. I like it.

  • SugarFree||

    It's like a sweet nectar.

  • ||

    That is rape! That is borderline rape!

  • Vapourwear||

    You know, if you say "rape," you might as well just be a rapist, yourself.

  • Tim||

    Too many security problems with a Chicago gig. Bullets flying everywhere all day long.

  • Rich||

    Safer in Afghanistan, one hears.

  • Contrarian P||

    "Kisses from Chicago, fuckface."

    Would make a hell of a title for an album.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    And no one mentions that we liberalized our concealed carry laws several years ago without (to the chagrin of local liberals) an eruption of violence on the street.

    Why doesn't that get mentioned along with the youth crap?

  • Enough About Palin||

    The reason why murder is down in my city is because we have had CC for about years now.

  • Enough About Palin||

    Hello PJ.

  • From the Tundra||

    Yeah, but our fuckhead legislators are hard at it, trying to undo the progress. You guys get a chance to look at HF 241 yet?

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Years ago I used to rehydrate at the Gopher bar in downtown St. Paul and they had a Guns welcome sign in the door.

    I know several uber-liberals here who seem brokenhearted that we haven't had a CC holder go nuts and kill some people.

  • ||

    If it will increase my power over you fucking voters even one little bit, while maintaining the status quo on the problem so that I'll have ample opportunities for future power grabs, shouldn't we try? - Barack Obama

  • Gladstone||

    Also according to Nick Gillespie the Nazis didn't support gun control well except for the Jews.

  • Almanian.||

    You know who else supported laws aimed specifically at Jews?

  • SugarFree||

    Almanian, have you ever seen a Cosmotarian drink a glass of water?

  • Killazontherun||

    Water, that stuff is terrible!

  • Rich||

    Moses?

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    No, Mel Gibson.

  • HellsBells||

    Mel Gibson?

  • HellsBells||

    Ack! CA beat me to it.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Are suggesting that government can't be trusted?

    I ought to call the DOJ and have you murderdroned just to prove how wrong you are.

  • Jordan||

    If there's even one thing we can do to keep our children and our community safe, if there's just one step we can take to prevent more families from feeling what they feel after they've lost a loved one, we've got an obligation to take that step...

    Unless top men decide those children are somehow associated with Al Qaeda. Then fuck 'em. Just like that non-terrorist kid I slagged after I slagged his father.

  • An0nB0t||

    Maybe they should have picked better fathers.

  • Rich||

    Obama that "we don’t have to agree on everything to agree it's time to do something."

    Continuing in the same vein, "We don't have to agree on everything to agree that the 49ers won the Super Bowl."

  • Rich||

    I see GILMORE addressed this @3:25.

    Right on. A great logic/rhetoric course could be based solely on Obama's utterings.

  • SKR||

    The entire country had a spike in violence that peaked in the 90s. The decline couldn't have anything to do with a larger trend perhaps?

  • Killazontherun||

    Juvenile delinquents sitting at home playing video games?

  • R C Dean||

    The Xbox (and I believe the Playstation) were released in, what, 2001?

    Violent crime peaked in the early '90s. I'd love to have a stronger correlation, but its just not there.

    Of course, the other correlation that's missing is the one between video games and higher violent crime rates.

  • Killazontherun||

    You know, they were not the first mass produced and massively popular consoles out there.

  • R C Dean||

    True. I'd love to see a graph of video game sales (all platforms) against the violent crime rate.

  • Killazontherun||

    If I was looking for a trend to correlate, I'd spot urban crime rates on weeks just before major releases for Madden. For suburban, just before the release of military oriented shooters and Grand Theft Autos.

  • Vapourwear||

    Dat's Racis'

  • GILMORE||

    http://images2.wikia.nocookie......3-2011.png

    thats 1/2 of the problem solved for you

    This would suggest that getting criminals off the streets and out of arcades, and into basements playing consoles helped reduce crime...

    No it wouldn't. I actually buy Steven Leavitt's 'Freakonomics' argument that it was Abortion that most helped the steady reduction in crime 1990-2010

  • HellsBells||

    Cocaine went out if fashion?

  • GILMORE||

    actually, some argue that crack sort of destroyed itself in the early 90s, where serious users and dealers were either getting a) busted or b) dead in increasing rapidity. i think the causal factors for the early-90s rapid drop in crime was a sort of 'all of the above' type thing. Malcolm Gladwell did a chapter on NYC in 'tipping point where he examines a combination of arguments for why crime dropped so rapidly here compared to elsewhere

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Well, the economy boomed starting in the mid 90s and didn't bust till 2007.. That's always going to help reduce crime.

    After the bust, the ubiquity of cell phones has probably squelched a lot of violent crime, and security camera ubiquity at businesses and some prevalence in homes has probably helped combat property crime.

  • BarryD||

    I expect my Congressman to do the right thing and vote No, to any further anti-gun measures.

    I do something about gun violence every day. I arm myself.

  • R C Dean||

    You need your Congressman to do more than vote. You need him to fight tooth and nail, using every dirty trick, to kill gun control.

    Tell him that if any new gun control law passes, you will be supporting his primary opponent in the next election, regardless of how he voted. If he can't stop gun control, then he's useless and we might as well try someone else.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Sorry to inject an unwelcome bit of reality here, but what if his opponent in the next election supports gun control?

  • Virginian||

    Primary Tulpa. Primary.

    For example, Scott Rigell over in the VA Beach area is reaching across the aisle on gun control. He needs to be made an example of in the primary.

  • ||

    I expect my Congressman to do the right thing and vote No, to any further anti-gun measures.

    I expect my congresswoman to enthusiastically vote for whatever gun control legislation is thrust under her nose. Mind you, it's not what I want her to do, but it's what I expect.

  • ||

    I've read that whenever the president attends any sort of function with uniformed local police, that the officers are all disarmed. I wonder if that's true.

  • R C Dean||

    Its only "common sense", wouldn't you agree?

  • ||

    Its only "common sense", wouldn't you agree?

    Absolutely. As Tom Daschle once remarked, you can't professionalize unles you federalize. To that end, these slack-jawed local cops have no business being armed in His presence.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    local cops have no business being armed used as props in His presence.

    ftfy

  • R C Dean||

    Seriously, if you had the authority to require all cops to be disarmed in your presence, wouldn't you do it?

  • ||

    Seriously, if you had the authority to require all cops to be disarmed in your presence, wouldn't you do it?

    No, I wouldn't. The idea of mass disarmament by fiat creeps me out, regardless of who's being disarmed. I'd just ensure that any cop who misuses his weapon in any way would suffer the same consequences as a "civilian" who misused one.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Depends on whether the cops are "required" to stand behind me as props.

  • Pope Jimbo||

  • MJGreen||

    I agree with Obama. Let's end the war on drugs!

    ...Oh, that's not what he means by "even one thing we can do"?

  • HellsBells||

    Here's my idea of gun control initiatives for youth.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ci5KBZ4kQ4I

  • Brendan||

    Time to talk about repealing the Gun Free School Zones Act, the NFA import bans (non-sporting, NFA), the Hughes amendment, 922r, etc.

    You know, we HAVE to do something and even if won't stop everything, we have to to try these common sense reforms if it'll save even a single life.

  • freeAgent||

    "if there's just one life we can save, we've got an obligation to try"

    ...except in the case of drone strikes. In that case, the death of known innocents is acceptable.

  • ||

    Didn't something similar happen during the presidential debates?

    There was a question about assault weapons and then Obama segued into talking about midnight basketball or whatever.
    Clearly you can see the argument that youth programs might reduce gun violence. It just is a completel non-sequitor as the answer to a question about banning assault weapons.

  • John||

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/.....le/2520632

    A 10-year-old Alexandria boy who brought a toy gun to school on Tuesday has been charged.

    The boy, whose name is not being released, was charged as a juvenile with brandishing a weapon, police said.

    Sadistic fucking retards.

  • ||

    Sadistic fucking retards.

    I wish I could be on his jury. Nullification would be easy to justify, since the prosecution would be unable to produce an weapon that he supposedly brandished.

  • John||

    I looked up the VA law just out of curiosity. And it covers "any object similar in appearance". So they technically have a case, if he actually brandished it meaning to inspire fear. But merely having it doesn't cut it. In a just world, the community would go down to the juvenile jail, get the kid out and burn the place to the fucking ground and tar and feather the people involved.

    These people do not fear the public nearly enough.

  • R C Dean||

    And it covers "any object similar in appearance".

    Depends on the toy. Hello Kitty bubble gun? No. Lego gun? No. Nerf gun? No.

    Just to pick three recent examples.

  • ||

    These people do not fear the public nearly enough.

    When I was ten, if I brought a toy gun to school (which I sometimes did) and played with it in class, the teacher would've taken it away and kept it at her desk until school was out for the day. There is absolutely no reason for it to be handled any differently today.

    It's funny, I went to school very close to where this took place.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    this man for brandishing an AR-H2O.

  • Enough About Palin||

    "We Need New Federal Gun Control Laws Because 'Youth Initiatives' Worked in Minneapolis"

    I live in North Minneapolis and all I've got to say is thank G-d for May Rybak. Until he changed the law, everyone, and I mean everyone, was running around here shooting of thousands of 30 round mags from their AR-15's. All my dogs were killed, as were my cats, all the birds and squirrels at the bird feeder and most of the neighbors.

  • From the Tundra||

    Yep, just walking to school required coordinated suppression fire and neighborhood tactical teams. Good times.

    Oh, and fuck Rybak.

  • thom||

    When I worked at a grocery store in South Minneapolis in high school, we had a strict policy of not accepting any checks with a North Minneapolis address. That side of town is pure trouble.

  • Russellwaz||

    Why hasn't President Obama banned these assault weapons from import? You DO NOT need Congress for an import ban. Both President Bush (Daddy) and Clinton had them in place. Why the heck wont Obama do anything other than talk? Will someone in the media please ask the question??!! An import ban won't solve the problem but it will show action and leadership!

  • thom||

    The whole "Murderapolis" thing was ridiculous. Even at it's peak, Minneapolis' homicide rate never even approached the homicide rate of cities such as Baltimore. Additionally, most of the people involved in those murders were from Chicago.

  • waaminn||

    lol, silly laws and bans are for honest folk!

    www.ur-anon.tk

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