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Challenging the Gun Lobby, Changing the Culture of Violence

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Small adjustments, and how long will they last?

There have been reactions to the link between mental illness and the Connecticut shooter and so many other mass murderers. On Long Island this week, for example, a Nassau County legislator called for a restoration of millions of dollars cut from mental-health programs in light of the Connecticut tragedy. "It's penny-wise and pound-foolish," said Judy Jacobs. "Obviously, anyone who could do what we saw in [Newtown] has to be mentally ill. But there are signs and there are signals. And it's not something we should shirk from." http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/call-to-restore-nassau-mental-health-cuts-1.4348924

Obama on Wednesday said, "The good news is there's already a growing consensus for us to build from. A majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons. A majority of Americans support banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips. A majority of Americans support laws requiring background checks before gun purchases."

He stressed, "I'm not going to be able to do it myself. Ultimately, if this effort is to succeed it's going to require the help of the American people--it's going to require all of us. If we're going to change things, it's going to take a wave of Americans--mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, pastors, law enforcement, mental-health professionals--and, yes, gun owners--standing up and saying 'enough' on behalf of our kids."

This will only be good news if, as the Connecticut horror fades from the media cycle, the pressure from public officials and all people continues leading to meaningful results.

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Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Outlaw assault weapons.and high-capacity ammunition clips.

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www.karlgrossman.com

Karl Grossman is a professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury and host of the nationally syndicated TV program Enviro Close-Up.
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