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Maggie Fox, NBC News:
Let us study gun violence, physicians beg Congress

“Allow me as a medical doctor, when I see a patient and I talk to them about the risks of excess alcohol, or tobacco use, or safe sex, morbid obesity, seat belts, texting and driving, can I talk to them about the risk of gun violence, please?” Begg asked.
Begg asked Congress to ban assault weapons, high capacity ammunition magazines and semi-automatic rifles. “People say the overall number of assault weapons deaths is small. Please don’t say that to the people of Tucson or Columbine or Aurora or Virginia Tech and don’t tell that to the people of Newtown,” he said to applause from the audience in the hearing room.

“This is a tipping point. And this is a public health issue.”

Indeed it is. They interviewed me as well in the story. It really is a public health issue. And this weekend, I hope to interview one of the founders of the United Physicians of Newtown group to talk more about what the Newtown docs think.

Greg Sargent:

Bloomberg’s PAC wasn’t the only group that sought to swing the race. A number of liberal organizations and online groups also got involved: CREDO Super PAC did on the ground organizing against Halvorson; DailyKos raised money for her; Democracy for America also raised money and contributed phone banking; and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee did some last minute organizing. The success of this effort is likely to encourage such groups to look for other “gun rights” Dems to target.

“As long as Democrats and Republicans keep voting with the NRA instead of their constituents, you will see progressive groups like CREDO, DFA and the Daily Kos community continue to make the NRA a major factor in our election organizing — including in Democratic primaries — going forward,” Becky Bond, the president of the CREDO Super PAC, tells me.

Molly Ball:
5 False Assumptions Political Pundits Make All the Time
A really good read. And more good reads below the fold, but first, our own David Waldman on Australian tv at 18:30.

Joel Achenbach:

What do you say when you’re the gun lobby based down the road from where a gunman has invaded a school and slaughtered 20 first-graders and six women? At first, just a brief statement of shock and sympathy, but no major pronouncements. “We figured it would just be exacerbating the suffering of people in the town,” Sanetti said.

Gradually, the NSSF has become more outspoken, as have some Connecticut gun companies. This is the nation's historic center of firearms manufacturing. People refer to the Connecticut River Valley as “gun valley.” If you own a revolver, it was probably made in New England. Most of the rifles made in the United States come from the Northeast. It’s no accident that the firearms lobby is based in Connecticut.

Sanetti, in a rare sit-down interview in his office, said the new push for bans on military-style weapons and large ammunition magazines smacks of political opportunism.

“The horrors of 20 dead children, frankly, is being exploited,” he said.

Dana Milbank:
For a quarter-century, Antonin Scalia has been the reigning bully of the Supreme Court, but finally a couple of justices are willing to face him down.

As it happens, the two manning up to take on Nino the Terrible are women: the court’s newest members, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

EJ Dionne:
The old formula held that when government was divided between the parties, the contending sides should try to “meet in the middle.” But the current Republican leadership doesn’t know the meaning of the word “middle,” so intimidated by the tea party has it become.

Here is a way out of permanent crisis: President Obama should demand the repeal of all artificial deadlines and tell both houses of Congress that he won’t make further proposals until each actually passes a replacement to the sequester — not a gimmick or something that looks like an alternative, but the real thing.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 04:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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