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Regardless of how it ends, it's right time for gun discussion

Jan 17, 2013 - The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Just 33 days after a school massacre in Newtown, Conn., claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six educators, President Barack Obama presented a comprehensive proposal Wednesday aiming to reduce gun violence in a country that has had far too many mass killings.

Accompanied by four children who had written to him on the issue, and with family members of some of the Newtown victims in the audience, the president outlined 23 executive actions and several legislative proposals he said Congress must enact to combat gun violence.

Insisting that the nation "can't put this off any longer," Obama called for "common-sense" measures that include: universal background checks for anyone trying to buy a gun (40 percent of current sales don't have background checks); reinstating and strengthening the ban on military-style assault weapons; and restoring a 10-round limit for ammunition magazines.

The killing of children in Newtown has forced a national debate. It was appropriate that Obama appoint a task force, headed by Vice President Joe Biden, to work quickly toward concrete recommendations for effective change.

The debate must now move to the halls of Congress, where many are poised to oppose any changes in current gun laws.

The nation must go as far as we can to keep weapons of mass killing out of the wrong hands. The time is now to talk about how to do it.

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