Obama and guns: below, release from the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation…
The Joyce Foundation Applauds Vice President Joe Biden’s Task Force Recommendations to Address Gun Violence
Administration Taking Appropriate and Necessary Steps to Prevent Further Tragedies
– The Joyce Foundation, committed to improving the quality of life for people in the Great Lakes region and across the country, issued the following statement in support of the announcement made today by President Obama and Vice President Biden detailing the recommendations of the Administration’s task force to address gun violence prevention:
“We commend the Obama Administration’s Gun Violence Prevention Task Force on the recommendations announced today. This slate represents a comprehensive and commonsense approach to gun violence focused on thoughtful solutions that our communities desperately need.
“America suffers more than 30,000 gun deaths every year, including homicides, suicides and accidental shootings. That is more per capita than any other developed country.
“The murders in Newtown awoke our nation to the urgency of acting now to put in place reasonable gun laws to protect our citizens from further damage. And we know from recent polls that the majority of Americans do support such laws. Even before Newtown, 86 percent of adults expressed support for criminal background checks for all gun buyers, and 87 percent of gun owners share this position. Even 74 percent of National Rifle Association members support criminal background checks for all gun sales. Sixty-three percent of Americans support banning assault weapons and large magazine clips.
“The causes of violence are complex. The solutions will be as well. The politics are – and always have been – difficult. So we hope people put aside other interests and past differences to come together and support these recommendations.”
SUPPORT FOR TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS:
FEDERAL FUNDING FOR RESEARCH ON THE PREVENTION OF GUN VIOLENCE – The Joyce Foundation has long been committed to supporting scientific research to inform public policy with the best available data and analysis on the risk factors for gun violence and the protective measures that can keep our children and families safe. We are pleased that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other government agencies will be committed to supporting important research and analysis. We also applaud the task force for its recommendation that the National Violent Death Reporting System be fully funded. This national data system links data on violent deaths from multiple sources, to give policy makers and researchers a complete understanding of the factors that contribute to lethal violence.
COMPREHENSIVE BACKGROUND CHECKS – Existing research clearly links the easy access to firearms in the U.S. with our high rates of gun violence. Conducting thorough background checks on every gun purchaser is the best means we have to keep convicted felons, domestic abusers, and people who are dangerously mentally ill from accessing guns. Current law only requires background checks in 60% of gun transfers. We strongly agree that every gun buy should be subjected to a background check. Likewise, we agree with the need for executive action to ensure that state and federal agencies are submitting all records of prohibited persons to the NICS database.
ASSAULT WEAPONS AND HIGH CAPACITY AMMUNITION MAGAZINES- Semi-automatic assault weapons equipped with high capacity ammunition magazines have been used disproportionately in mass shootings in the U.S., including the tragedies at Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, Virginia Tech and Columbine. They are also a particular threat to law enforcement officers. We agree that these military-style weapons that have exacted such a devastating toll on so many families have no place on our streets and in our neighborhoods.
THE JOYCE FOUNDATION
The Joyce Foundation supports the development of policies that both improve the quality of life for people in the Great Lakes region and serve as models for the rest of the country. We focus on today’s most pressing problems while also informing the public policy decisions critical to creating opportunity and achieving long-term solutions. The work is based on sound research and is focused on where we can add the most value. We encourage innovative and collaborative approaches with a regional focus and the potential for a national reach.
Through the Gun Violence Prevention program, the Joyce Foundation works with law enforcement, policy makers and advocates to develop common sense gun violence reduction and prevention policies that keep our communities safe.