William Katz:  Urgent Agenda






ANOTHER TRIP? – AT 9:10 A.M. ET:  Is it something about the White House?  The decor?  The creaking floors?  Maybe the heating system?

This president always seems to be traveling.  I'd love to see the bill sent to the taxpayers.  He's off again, this time to his home town.  From The Hill:

President Obama heads to his hometown Chicago on Friday to press Congress to act on his proposals to reduce gun violence.

Obama will deliver his remarks at the Hyde Park Academy at around 2:45 p.m. CT. Obama's speech follows his State of the Union address on Tuesday where he called for Congress to pass universal background checks for gun purchasers.

Obama also urged Congress to hold a vote on a federal assault weapons ban and impose a limit the size of ammunition magazines.

The president has made gun control a central focus of his second-term agenda in response to the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in December, which left 20 school children dead. A number of lawmakers, including a few with "A" ratings from the National Rifle Association (NRA), have called on federal action to prevent future shooting massacres.

But there remains signfiicant disagreement about the extent of the measures, with strong opposition among Republicans and some Democrats to an assault weapons ban.

COMMENT:  That doesn't exactly deal with the issue, does it?  As we've said here many times, we have no problems with Constitutional, effective measures that could reduce violence committed with guns (or any other weapons).  But we do have a serious problem with the way certain issues are just left out of the discussion.

Examine the president's words this afternoon.  He'll be speaking in his own neighborhood, Hyde Park, in Chicago, home to the University of Chicago, where I went to school.  It's on the South Side, which is a shooting gallery, although the area around the university is kept relatively safe.

Will the president finally confront the 900-pound elephant in the room, the culture of the community?  Will he speak about fatherlessness, about corrupt local leaders, about music that glorifies violence and demeans women?  Will he speak about the culture of excuse, which blames gun manufacturers, or even the banks that loan funds to those manufacturers, for the violence?  Will the president finally point out that the murder rate in Chicago is more than three times what it is in New York, and ask why? 

Why is it that liberal politicians blame everyone but the person pulling the trigger?  It's because they need the votes of certain communities, that's why.

We used to be told that we couldn't address crime in America unless we addressed – and I'm using the accepted lingo – the "socio-economic conditions of inner-city peoples."  But when anyone tries to address those conditions, they're given a list of "sensitive" subjects to avoid.

It will probably be another useless day.  But we can hope that the community organizer tries to organize his community in the right manner.

February 15, 2013