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Obama Pushes for Stronger Gun Laws on Day of Gun Violence in Maryland

President Obama pressed for social and economic change in his State of the Union address.

By Jeremy Barr, Capital News Service

President Barack Obama used his first State of the Union address as a second-term president Tuesday to focus on an economy that continues to struggle toward recovery and to lobby for better gun laws to stem violence that claimed two student lives in Maryland the same day.

“A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs—that must be the North Star that guides our efforts," Obama said. "Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation:  How do we attract more jobs to our shores?  How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?”

His administration released a package of job training, business incentives and education reforms designed to produce jobs, provide cleaner energy and improve the nation's rusting infrastructure.

Obama ended his address with a reiteration of his call for gun control, specifically calling for bans on "weapons of war" and "massive ammunition magazines" like the ones used in the December 2012 shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left 28 dead, including 20 schoolchildren.

These measures deserve a vote, Obama said, "because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun."

The discussion hit home for Maryland, in what police are calling a murder-suicide. A semi-automatic Uzi was found at the scene, along with rounds of ammunition.

"Our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. Indeed, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all the challenges I've outlined tonight," Obama said. "But we were never sent here to be perfect. We were sent here to make what difference we can..."

Obama announced in Jan. 23 executive actions he plans to take to stem the tide of gun violence, including an allocation of federal research funds to study its causes.

Several Maryland lawmakers at the federal level have been actively working for gun control. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Baltimore, is a chief co-sponsor of a bipartisan federal gun trafficking bill and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Kensington, just spoke at the March on Washington For Gun Control.

Rep. John Delaney, D-Potomac, said, "Obviously what he did on gun safety is necessary and important. And I thought his timing on bringing that at the end of the speech was the right approach.”

Van Hollen Tuesday was joined at the president's speech by Carole Price, whose 13 year-old-son was accidentally shot and killed by a young neighbor in 1998. Since then, Price has been a gun safety advocate in Maryland, lobbying successfully for “child-proof gun legislation” in 2002.

As for Obama's economic proposals, Obama called the sequester—a series of automatic spending cuts—a "really bad idea" that both parties need to work together to resolve.

The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans now hold nearly 75 percent of the country’s net worth, according to a July 2012 report from the Congressional Research Service, while the rest of the country’s wealth share has declined. Meanwhile the national unemployment rate stubbornly hovers around 8 percent, down from its high of 10 percent in 2009.

Maryland’s unemployment rate stands at 6.6 percent, below the national average and down from a recent high of 8 percent in October 2009.

Obama called reducing the deficit an “urgent priority” of his next term, but added that "deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan." He stressed that all the proposals he is putting forward will not increase the deficit.

Maryland's Democrat-dominated congressional delegation was behind Obama's economic plans.

Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Towson, called the speech, “terrific, very strong in its tone and its substance," and said that the president called for "bread and butter investments.”

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Mechanicsville, called the speech "comprehensive," and said it clearly laid out Obama's agenda.

In a statement, Sen. Ben Cardin said he agreed with the president and added, "Congress cannot fail the American people by making them victims of reckless inaction. Sequestration will have a devastating impact on our economy and we cannot let it happen."

A statement from Gov. Martin O'Malley praised Obama's "balanced approach" to taking on the nation's economic problems, "where eliminating government waste and cutting spending responsibly are paired with investments in core priorities like promoting innovation, improving our schools, and rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure.”

The state's lone Republican congressman, however, did not see the speech the same way. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Cockeysville said the president failed to present specifics.

"He spent a lot of time talking about climate change and gun control and gave precious little details on how to solve our nation’s economic problems," Harris said. "I thought that the president was going to actually respond to what America wants to hear now, which is how are we going to get out of the recession, how are we going to solve our economic problems, how are we going to delay the sequester....”

Maryland had another tie to Obama's State of the Union speech. was one of 23 invited guests in First Lady Michelle Obama’s private box. Andraka won the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for creating a dip-stick sensor for cancer, and was recognized by O’Malley in his State of the State address last month.

 

This story was updated at 11:34 p.m. to add Maryland congressional reaction.

Kongo February 14, 2013 at 02:00 PM
LMAO...it looks like the Stanker hate cult has recruited a new member.
Honeygo Hal February 14, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Probably got that way reading the Patch...
1ke February 14, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Lies from the libbie press. Hey, B.O., can I bum a square? Did you get your Tea Party membership card off the back of a pack of Pall Mall straights?
CP February 14, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Yeah Frank nothing like bombing women and children out of their houses in Pakistan, Yemen.........the lost goes on.
MarkV February 14, 2013 at 02:31 PM
As usual Frank is clueless. Gun stores are swamped with orders more and more people that never had guns before are coming in to buy.
CP February 14, 2013 at 02:35 PM
Whites live in fear in RSA. The racist animals like to prey, eat and rob the tax paying citizens of RSA. He thought she was an intruder. You wouldn't last 1 hour in RSA. And you'd shite your panties before you ran home.
Kongo February 14, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Is the Stanker keeping up with your diaper changes, Ikey? Make sure that waste of flesh isn't lying down on the job.
Kongo February 14, 2013 at 02:36 PM
When is the Stanker ever *not* clueless?
CP February 14, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Since when do Libs care about life? Between abortions and drones the numbers are completely lopsided.
Kongo February 14, 2013 at 02:39 PM
As to Obama's big push, it's actually a racist policy. He apparently couldn't care less that blacks continue to die from gun violence at alarming rates in the inner cities. He's pandering to the suburbanites.
Steve February 14, 2013 at 02:40 PM
I travel to South Africa quite often for business. In fact, I am taking my wife with me next month for a vacation. You couldn't be farther from the truth CP. When was the last time you were there?
CP February 14, 2013 at 02:40 PM
Looks like the 47% are out in full force today!
Kongo February 14, 2013 at 02:41 PM
Ah, Walter "Stank" Mitty is embarking on his fantastic voyages again. Are they chemically induced, Stanker? ROTFLMAO
CP February 14, 2013 at 02:43 PM
I call BS. I have been there and have friends there. They live with armed guards 24/7. You're an idiot! You're credibility is shot. Go back to bed.
Kongo February 14, 2013 at 02:47 PM
I think the Stanker is in Zimbabwe this morning, with a side trip to Mogadishu in the afternoon before arriving back in Dundalk. LMAO
Steve February 14, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Nope sorry CP it's obvious you haven't been there. Who woke up BO the angry, drunken dwarf this morning? He's not usually up until mid afternoon.
1ke February 14, 2013 at 03:07 PM
It's all those racist takers messing up the things that White people built out of nothing. How are you supposed to make a living with all of those predators running around stealing stuff and hating on White people for no reason?
Steve February 14, 2013 at 03:13 PM
LOL This is what I promised my wife for our anniversary. http://www.bluetrain.co.za/
Kongo February 14, 2013 at 03:18 PM
Hey Ikey, you must be so proud of the globe-trotting exploits of your boy, Stanker eh? And poor Stanker just can't stand it that nobody believes him. You malignant narcissist you. ROTFLMAO
CP February 14, 2013 at 03:29 PM
BS Steve. No credibility. Copy paste all you want. And yes I've been. Armed escort. Zonk'Izizwe and Menlyn Park are a few reasons why I've been. If you were there it was a tourist area. Not the real RSA. You wouldn't last.
1ke February 14, 2013 at 03:40 PM
A distinctive curvilinear shape...heh heh. Don't you find it hard to believe that White folks bringing all of that post-colonial culture are so mistreated? Build that good stuff in the former Homelands and support the local economy. White people just don't get the message, do they? The reaction against chattel slavery and apartheid ripples down through the generations and across the earth.
Steve February 14, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Sure you have CP.....sure you have... What's the name of the island where the plane has to refuel?
Kongo February 14, 2013 at 03:55 PM
ROTFLMAO...I guess the Stanker is unaware of the range of modern jetliners nowadays as well. Great job you are doing proving your case Walter "Stank" Mitty.
Kongo February 14, 2013 at 04:00 PM
Dulles International Airport will get one of the few nonstop flights from the U.S. to South Africa next month. http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2006/09/25/daily46.html The malignant narcissist Stanker foiled again. Bwahahahahaha
Steve February 14, 2013 at 04:02 PM
The drunken angry dwarf shows his ignorance again. BO everybody knows you can fly from the US to SA nonstop. Where do you have to stop on the return trip?
CP February 14, 2013 at 04:03 PM
I never landed on an island. WTH are you talking about? I've flown direct to Jburg every time.
Kongo February 14, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Everyone except you apparently, Mr. round the world traveller. Stick to your fantasies in Mom's basement, Walter "Stank" Mitty. ROTFLMAO
Steve February 14, 2013 at 04:07 PM
LOL Massive Fail! Somehow CP I get the feeling that you and the angry drunken dwarf have never been outside of the Beltway.
Kongo February 14, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Oh, BTW you malignant narcissist, the Dulles - Johannesburg nonstops are both ways. Poor, poor Walter "Stank" Mitty. ROTFLMAO
Keith B. February 14, 2013 at 05:37 PM
let me guess...your cap lock button is stuck or the battery in your hearing aid is dead? Gun rights...Remember entry on the left, exit on the right for best odds of success.

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