On Monday, The White House and President Obama invited many law enforcement officials to the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Some of the people invited were police chiefs from Aurora, Colo.; Oak Creek, Wis. and Newtown, Conn., the sites of the most recent high-profile mass shootings. Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson, who is president of the National Sheriffs’ Association, was one of 13 sheriffs and police chiefs invited to the White House. In this picture below, the sheriff is sitting next to V.P. Biden and across the table from President Obama.
Amerson told the president that the mentally ill regularly fill county jails and that there were loopholes in reporting mental health records to law enforcement for gun background checks. He also said health professionals are often hesitant to communicate with law enforcement for fear of violating privacy laws. “Twenty-five percent to thirty percent of people who come into the jails every month are mentally ill. Any day at any jail, that’s the working number,” Amerson said.
Amerson said something striking. He told the president that average folks aren’t buying the idea that Obama’s not trying to take away people’s guns. “The president said to us he wasn’t there to take any firearms from an average person who needs them for self-protection or sporting purposes. If you ask the average guy on the street, he won’t agree,” Amerson said.
Amerson said “basic handguns” are the weapon of choice in Calhoun County crimes. He said they do see some assault weapons which are of a particular concern for law enforcement because of their ability to pierce body armor. Amerson said he also discussed the importance of using teachers and schools to identify and help refer troubled youngsters to counseling. He said about 2,000 students have received services through a project in Calhoun County to connect kids with services.
Obama was looking forward to a robust conversation on gun violence, gun laws and law enforcement resources. Obama said, “If law enforcement officials who are dealing with this stuff every single day can come to some basic consensus in terms of steps that we need to take, Congress is going to be paying attention to them and we’ll be able to make progress.”
As for me Nathan Young; I still take the position that America needs to ban assault weapons and automatic weapons. Here is a video showing Obama taking at this meeting.
- Obama: Congressional action on guns is needed (politico.com)
- Obama and Biden focus on gun violence Monday (whitehouse.blogs.cnn.com)
- My Thoughts On The Sandy Hook Shootings (geekalabama.com)
- The NRA / Gun Control Debate (geekalabama.com)