Vacation over, Obama considering action to reduce gun violence

WASHINGTON -- Back at the White House after a two-week Hawaiian vacation, U.S. President Barack Obama says he is energized for his final year in office and ready to tackle unfinished business, turning immediate attention to the issue of gun violence.

See Full Article

Obama scheduled a meeting Monday with Attorney General Loretta Lynch to discuss a three-month review of what steps he could take to help reduce gun violence. The president is expected to use executive action to strengthen background checks required for gun purchases.

Republicans strongly oppose any moves Obama may make, and legal fights seem likely over what critics would view as infringing on their constitutional rights to bear arms. But Obama is committed to an aggressive agenda in 2016 even as public attention shifts to the presidential election.

Obama spent much of his winter vacation out of the public eye, playing golf with friends and dining out on the Hawaiian island of Oahu with his family. He returned to the White House about noon Sunday.

"I am fired up for the year that stretches out before us. That's because of what we've accomplished together over the past seven," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address.

While in Hawaii, he also worked on his final State of the Union address, scheduled for Jan. 12. The prime-time speech to Congress will give the president another chance to try to reassure the public about his national security stewardship after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California.

Congressional Republicans have outlined a competing agenda for January, saying they will spend the first days of 2016 taking another crack at eliminating keys parts of the president's health insurance law and ending federal funding for women's health care provider Planned Parenthood. The legislation is unlikely to become law, but it is popular with the Republican base in an election year.

The debate about what Obama may do on gun violence already has spilled over into the presidential campaign.

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has called for more aggressive executive actions on guns, and rival Bernie Sanders said he would support Obama's expected move.

The Vermont senator told ABC's "This Week" that he believes "there is a wide consensus" that "we should expand and strengthen the instant background check." He added: "I think that's what the president is trying to do and I think that will be the right thing to do."

Republican candidates largely oppose efforts to expand background checks or take other steps that curb access to guns.

"This president wants to act as if he is a king, as if he is a dictator," unable to persuade Congress and forcing an "illegal executive action" on the country, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told "Fox News Sunday."

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, also on Fox, said Obama's "first impulse is always to take rights away from law-abiding citizens, and it's wrong."

In the radio address, Obama said tens of thousands of people have died from gun violence since background check legislation stalled three years ago.

"Each time, we're told that commonsense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, so we shouldn't do anything," Obama said. "We know that we can't stop every act of violence. But what if we tried to stop even one?"

Federally licensed gun sellers are required by law to seek criminal background checks before completing a sale. But gun control advocacy groups say some of the people who sell firearms at gun shows are not federally licensed, increasing the chance of sales to customers prohibited by law from purchasing guns.

Obama plans to participate in a town hall Thursday night at George Mason University in Virginia on reducing gun violence. The president will take questions from the audience at the event moderated by CNN's Anderson Cooper.

Despite his deep differences with Republicans, Obama has cited two agenda items for 2016 that have bipartisan support: a free trade agreement with 11 other nations called the Trans-Pacific Partnership and changes in the criminal justice system that would reduce incarceration rates for nonviolent offenders. He often points out that the U.S. accounts for 5 per cent of the world's population and 25 per cent of its inmates.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Early Halloween highway horror: Flaming pumpkins jam traffic

    World News CTV News
    SAN ANTONIO, Fla. -- In an early Halloween highway horror, a truckload of burning pumpkins has been blocking traffic on a Florida interstate. Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins said in a news release that a tractor-trailer hauling pumpkins struck a guard rail on southbound Interstate 75 near Tampa early Friday, sparking a fire. Source
  • Indiana man locked in cave for 60 hours, forgotten by group

    World News CTV News
    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A 19-year-old man who spent 60 hours locked alone inside a gated southern Indiana cave says he feels lucky to be alive. Indiana University freshman Lukas Cavar was on a spelunking trip to Sullivan Cave about 10 miles (16 kilometres) south of Bloomington when he became separated Sunday afternoon from 12 other members of the university's Caving Club. Source
  • Nova Scotia to make abortion pill available for free at pharmacies

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    HALIFAX — The Nova Scotia government says it will make the abortion pill available to women at no cost. Kelly Regan, the minister responsible for the status of women, said Friday the province was “supporting more choice for women” by making Mifegymiso available by prescription starting in November. Source
  • Driver ticketed twice in 8 minutes for using cell phone

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    VANCOUVER — A driver in Vancouver needed just eight minutes to rack up more than $700 in fines and eight demerit points, all because of a reluctance to put down the phone. Vancouver Police posted a photo of the two tickets on social media, showing that within a space of barely six blocks along one of the city’s most congested streets, the driver of the rented Hyundai Accent was stopped twice for using an electronic device. Source
  • Obama campus assault guidance gets scrapped under Trump

    World News CTV News
    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks about campus sexual assault and enforcement of Title IX, the federal law that bars discrimination in education on the basis of gender, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, at George Mason University Arlington, Va. Source
  • Warmer and wetter fall season in store for Canada, says meteorologist

    Canada News CTV News
    It may be the first day of fall, but in some parts of Canada it feels more like the middle of summer. Temperatures hit the mid-20s in southern Ontario and Quebec Friday, and could get as high as 30 C over the weekend in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Source
  • Crown sets out case in trial of 2 Dalton McGuinty staffers

    Canada News CBC News
    The prosecution began laying out the allegations against two of former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty's most senior officials on Friday, marking the second corruption trial involving provincial Liberals this month. David Livingston, McGuinty's chief of staff in 2012 and 2013, and his deputy chief of staff Laura Miller, are charged with breach of trust, mischief, and misuse of a computer to commit mischief. Source
  • Indiana man goes spelunking with group, gets locked in cave for 60 hours

    World News Toronto Sun
    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A 19-year-old man says he feels lucky to be alive after spending 60 hours locked alone inside a gated southern Indiana cave. Indiana University freshman Lukas Cavar was on a spelunking trip to Sullivan Cave about 10 miles (16 kilometres) south of Bloomington Sunday afternoon when he became separated from 12 other members of IU’s Caving Club. Source
  • NASA’s asteroid chaser swings by Earth on way to space rock

    World News Toronto Sun
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s asteroid-chasing spacecraft is swinging by Earth on its way to a space rock. Launched a year ago, Osiris-Rex will pass within about 11,000 miles (17,700 kilometres) of the home planet Friday afternoon. Source
  • Ontario to cover HIV prevention pill under public health plan

    Canada News CBC News
    Ontario will soon cover a combination HIV prevention pill that is now available in generic form, HIV advocates say. The once-daily pill contains two anti-HIV drugs that reduce the risk of sexual transmission in HIV-negative individuals. Source