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Rep. Young Asked to Support Obama's Gun Policies

Local city and community leaders from across Florida asked their local legislative officials Monday to stand up and support President Obama's gun violence prevention policies.

City leaders and community activists rallied around the state Monday to advocate for stronger background checks in hopes local legislative leaders would support President Barack Obama's new gun control initiatives. 

At the St. Petersburg City Hall on Monday, leaders called on U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-Indian Shores) to support Obama's gun violence prevention proposals. 

St. Pete resident Lisa Brown began her speech Monday by reading the names of gun violence victims in St. Pete and Pinellas County. 

"Officer Crawford." "Paris Whitehead." "Officer Yaslowitz." "Destynee Burkes."

She concluded by saying one last name, her son, "Cabretti Wheeler". 

"All victims of gun violence," Brown said Monday. "Victims that were murdered senselessly. Like someone thought they had the right to take their life. They were murdered with guns.

"Our children should not be wondering if they can make it to the age of 21," Brown added. "Not only am I standing here because I lost my 21-year-old son to gun violence but I am advocating for all children, all men and women that it’s time to do something."

Brown, St. Pete council members Steve Kornell and Karl Nurse and Rev. Russell L Meyer, executive director of the Florida Council of Churches, asked Rep. Young on Monday to be out front in gun prevention violence. They want him to support "common sense" solutions to gun violence by supporting universal background checks. 

Kornell said the goal is to make sure guns stay out of the hands of all convicted felons, not out of the hands of people who can legally own a gun. Last week, the St. Pete City Council voted 8-0 to support a resolution to send to state and federal legislatures in hopes they would support universal gun background checks. 

"We know common sense tells us we need to make it more difficult for criminals to buy guns," Nurse said. "More difficult for the mentally ill to buy a gun. We do not need semi-automatic riffles to go hunting. The only purpose of those is mass murder.

"It’s time for Congressman Young to step up," Nurse said. "He knows the right thing to do is to support common sense measure that (will) protect the law abiding citizens from the criminals."

Meyer said the focus needs to be on not only preventing criminals from obtaining guns, but an increased focus on trauma care, mental health accessibility and re-entry program to help people coming from the criminal justice system become productive members of society. 

"Whether by mass murder, drive-by shootings, or suicide, the easy access to guns and weapons of mass murder must come to an end," Meyer said. "They are killing our youth.

"We kill more people in our cities, towns and streets then we do in war," Meyer added. "The answer is not to arm everyone. As Dr. King said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth means we all become blind and toothless.’ "

Obama is expected to speak about his gun control proposals during Tuesday night's State of the Union address. 

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Mike February 12, 2013 at 04:12 PM
I have a lot more to do....all these evil black, high capacity, semi-automatic rifles aren't going to clean themselves!
Jerry Kendall February 12, 2013 at 05:03 PM
These so called "city leaders" need to look back and see just who is it that they are "leading". There may not be many "followers". How can supposedly smart people continue to think that any government control would stop at reasonable approaches. Further more, why do people continue to think that any controls would have any bearing on the criminal element. Find something better to lobby for on our behalf,
Rider February 12, 2013 at 05:53 PM
hystrionics.......
Mike February 12, 2013 at 06:00 PM
Doublethink......
Jack Sprat February 17, 2013 at 05:51 PM
If we really want to stop killing innocent people, we should control cars. More people are killed by cars than guns and no one is suggesting we give up our privilege (cars are not a constitutional right) to own and drive them. We could certainly use a lot more control of who is allowed to drive! Here is a chart of the top ten causes of deaths in the US: www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/pdf/10lcid_unintentional_deaths_2010-a.pdf We have a lot of preventable deaths NOT caused by guns - let's see some outrage about vehicular, poisoning and falls (80,000/yr total) before we get too excited about the gun violence (11,000 homicides). Unintentional firearm deaths did not make the top ten. This is all about government control of our lives, it has nothing to do with saving innocent lives. Wake up, folks. They are already taxing us beyond reason, they control our health care, of course they want to take away our constitutional right to bear arms. Sure, today it's so-called assault weapons. Where will it be tomorrow?

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