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Patrick and Obama Gun Safety Proposals Hailed

PHOTO: Massachusetts gun safety advocates are hailing moves by Gov. Patrick and President Obama this week. Photo courtesy of Stop Handgun Violence.
PHOTO: Massachusetts gun safety advocates are hailing moves by Gov. Patrick and President Obama this week. Photo courtesy of Stop Handgun Violence.
January 18, 2013

NEWTON, Mass. – John Rosenthal founded the national organization Stop Handgun Violence, based in Newton, in 1995 – or, as he puts it, "600,000 gun deaths ago."

He says he is proud of President Barack Obama for doing and saying things Rosenthal's been advocating for 18 years.

The president’s package of gun control legislation for Congress includes a ban on high-capacity magazines, and the reinstatement of a ban on some assault-style weapons and mandatory background checks for all gun purchases.

Rosenthal says he’s also pleased with Governor Deval Patrick's proposals.

"We've got the toughest gun laws in the nation and the lowest firearm death rate in the nation, so we're the model. And Governor Patrick's new proposals simply make the model better and will save lives."

The National Rifle Association says law-abiding gun owners shouldn't be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen, and that new laws proposed by the White House won't work.

But Rosenthal's enthusiasm is tempered somewhat by the "buzz" from Washington.

"I am proud of the president for finally taking this on. I'm disappointed by what I'm hearing in Congress that somehow a background check is a hard vote for a Democrat or a Republican. "

Rosenthal says it's about time something is done, and blames Congress for caving in to the gun lobby.

"Eighty-seven Americans die every day from gun violence, including eight kids. There have been 11 high-profile mass shootings since Gabby Giffords, a member of Congress, was shot in the head and changed forever just two years ago."

Rosenthal says the Bay State currently has the nation's lowest firearm fatality rate, at 3.1 per 100,000 people, compared to the U.S. average of 10.6. He approves of President Obama's initiative.

"This is common sense and does not infringe on the Second Amendment and does not create any undue inconvenience for anyone who is a gun owner."


Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - MA