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January 15th, 2013
07:52 AM ET

Daily Beast's McKinnon: GOP must 'get on board...or continue to dig our ditch deeper' on gun control

This morning, President Obama has his gun task force's recommendations in his hands. Yesterday, during the last press conference of his first term, he said that he'd be reviewing some steps he could take to advance his gun control priorities.

“What you can count on is that the things that I've said in the past, the belief that we have to have stronger background checks, that we can do a much better job in terms of keeping these magazine clips with high capacity out of the hands of folks who shouldn't have them, an assault weapons ban that is meaningful, that those are things I continue to believe make sense,” President Obama says.

Daily Beast contributor Mark McKinnon, also co-founder of No Labels, takes on the GOP's position on guns for destroying the party and comes to “Early Start” this morning to explain.

He suggests Republicans come forward with their own proposal for gun legislation because there are gun control measures that Republicans support which have nothing to do with the Second Amendment. McKinnon urges Republicans not to be defensive about it.

“Don’t wait for the Democrats to come out with an agenda, then simply respond to it,” he says. “Have a Republican agenda. Let’s have a Republican plan on guns.”

He believes Republicans would “get a lot of points” for saying, “we want to protect our rights, but we want to make sure that we do background checks, that...we do mental health checks,” he explains. “Those things just make common sense.”

McKinnon believes change is on its way, “and if Republicans don’t get on board and acknowledge and be part of it, then I think we’ll continue to dig our ditch deeper.”

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Filed under: GOP • Gun control • Republican Party
January 15th, 2013
07:46 AM ET

Vice President Biden shares gun control recommendations with President Obama; White House Correspondent Dan Lothian reports

Aurora, Newtown, Webster are all places recently marred by tragedies by gunfire. Now, Vice President Joe Biden has officially delivered his recommendations to President Obama with suggestions for trying to stop these horrific shootings from happening again.

The recommendations reportedly include proposing background checks on all gun sales, making certain rapid-fire weapons off-limits and keeping guns away from the mentally ill. White House Correspondent Dan Lothian is following developments and has more on “Early Start” this morning.

January 14th, 2013
07:55 AM ET

Newtown one month later: Shooting survivors offer support to victims

This morning Vice President Biden will meet with members of the House Of Representatives as part of the task force he's heading up on reducing gun violence. The task force is expected to make its recommendations Tuesday.

Meanwhile, today marks one month since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. A group of Newtown residents called "Sandy Hook Promise" will mark the anniversary by holding a news conference today. They plan to unveil a national grass-roots initiative to reduce gun violence.

The group will be joined by families of victims and survivors of other shootings. Among them is Stephen Barton, a survivor of last summer's Aurora movie theater shooting. He was shot in the face, neck and chest before escaping. Stephen now works as an outreach and policy associate for Mayors Against Illegal Guns. He also grew up about ten minutes from Newtown. And Lori Haas will also be there. Her daughter Emily was shot twice during the 2007 Virginia Tech mass shooting. Luckily she survived. Lori is now the Virginia organizer for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

As “Early Start” looks back at the Sandy Hook tragedy, we speak to Stephen and Lori, who are working to enact change moving forward. Both of them join us live from Newtown, Connecticut.

January 11th, 2013
06:15 AM ET

MYB: Big corporate layoffs looming

Christine Romans is minding your business this morning with the latest in world markets and U.S. stock futures, which hit a milestone yesterday. “A five-year high for the S & P 500,” Romans says, and “the highest close since December of 2007.”

She also reports big corporate layoffs looming ahead, and another down day for gun stocks.

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Filed under: Banks • Gun control • Guns • Minding Your Business • Stocks
January 9th, 2013
10:17 AM ET

Stepfather of Aurora victim discusses efforts to curb gun violence

Later this morning, survivors of gun violence and representatives from gun safety groups are meeting with Vice President Joe Biden in Washington. Biden is leading the White House task force on guns, which was quickly assembled in the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy.

Lonnie Phillips, whose step-daughter Jessica Ghawi was killed in the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, will be attending today's meeting and he joins Starting Point today to discuss the efforts he's taking to try to curb gun violence.

Phillips, who says that he expects a "tough, protracted battle," explains that he's focused on three main aspects of gun control pertaining to assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and background checks.

Discussing the participation of the NRA in gun control talks, Phillips says that the organization is "using their same worn out trite: people kill people, guns don't kill people."

"They need to come up with something more substantial than that," Phillips says. "A dialogue with NRA would be helpful. I would like to see some kind of step forward for them, instead of just towing the line and not giving an inch. That's not the way to negotiate."

Filed under: Gun control
December 21st, 2012
07:09 AM ET

Moms wage war against guns after Newtown tragedy; Zoraida Sambolin reports

A group of mothers who were inspired by the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School are now banding together to push for stronger gun laws. Prompted to take action in the wake of the tragedy, they began the group, Women Against Assault Rifles, or "Waar". Their goal is to have as much as an affect on gun legislation in America as the group "Madd", or Mothers Against Drunk Driving, has had on drunk driving laws. Zoraida Sambolin met up with a group of these motivated mothers yesterday.

Sambolin says what all the mothers “agree on is a federal ban on assault rifles.” Erin Combs doesn’t want the Newtown tragedy to become the new normal and believes it’s the group’s responsibility to protect not only their own children, but all children. “It’s power in numbers and emotion,” Erin Combs says. “The formula for me that I see in my brain is very clear. Less gun availability equals less gun violence.”

Medha Thomas realizes that their fight is a long one and tough one. “This is not a one-month fix. This is not a one-year fix. This is a decade-long fix,” Thomas says. The challenge is to keep the conversation going in Washington for decisive action to occur. “To find out more about WAAR, you can check out their website,” Sambolin says. http://www.waar.org/.

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Filed under: Gun control • Guns • Sandy Hook • School shooting • Shooting
December 20th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Global gun control, CNN's Kyung Lah compares policy in Japan with policy in the U.S.

In 2008, Japan had 11 gun-related murders while the United States had 12 thousand. Perhaps other countries can offer America ideas for more effective gun control policies. CNN’s Kyung Lah, who has reported extensively on Japan as CNN"s Tokyo Correspondent, looks into it this morning.

In Lah’s five years of living and reporting in Japan, she says she never covered a shooting because there wasn’t one. “In Japan, there are almost no guns. The average person just can’t get one,” she says. “It’s the safest place I’ve ever lived.”

Living in the U.S. has been strikingly different for Lah.  The Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre is the third mass shooting she's covered in just six months. “But these mass shootings, which are now a part of our American narrative, follow a familiar pattern: The shock, national outrage, memorials, funerals, then the conversation fades.”

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Filed under: Gun control • Guns • Japan • Sandy Hook • School shooting • Shooting
December 18th, 2012
08:56 AM ET

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) talks gun control in aftermath of Sandy Hook shooting: 'the call is for action'

The tragedy in Newtown has sparked a heated national discussion about guns and gun violence. According to the centers for disease control, over 100,000 people were shot or killed with a firearm last year. Democratic Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is a Senior Member of the House Homeland Security and Judiciary Committees. She is working on a new bill calling for an immediate ban on all assault weapons among other gun control measures that she says can prevent more horrific mass murders. She joins “Early Start” live from Houston this morning regarding the gun control debate and the Newtown School Shooting.

“The whole nation mourns,” Rep. Jackson Lee says, “and I think this is a significant moment in history, bar none, that surpasses any of the other horrific tragedies that we’ve faced and the call is for action.”  Rep. Lee says she hopes to collabborate with members of Congress to create legislation dealing with a ban on assault weapons as well as closing the gun show loop hole.

Rep. Jackson Lee also stresses the need to start a national dialogue on gun legislation along both sides of the aisle and with both houses together. "We've got to stop this divide between, 'you want to take my guns,'" she says. "This is a national dialogue not about the Second Amendment," Rep. Jackson Lee says. "But it is a dialogue about saving lives, and that's what this gun regulation legislation would be, not gun control."

July 27th, 2012
07:59 AM ET

Why are lawmakers so reluctant to address gun control? Ron Brownstein weighs in

The controversial topic of gun control has taken center stage in the wake of the Aurora theater shooting, with politicians on both side of the aisle offering their perspectives on the issue.

Nevertheless, legislators remain reluctant to address the subject. When asked yesterday whether Congress would take up the issue, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid replied, "With the schedule we have, we're not going to get into the debate on gun control. But I'm very happy. I'm glad the president made the statement because its' something that needs to be done. But we're not going to address gun control."

On Early Start this morning, National Journal editorial director Ron Brownstein weighs in on the power of the NRA and the difficulty in legislating gun control.

Filed under: 2012 election • Gun control
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