Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Kucinich Offers Comprehensive Plan to Address Violence in America

Ohio Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich's congressional website posted the following press release.

Kucinich Offers Comprehensive Plan to Address Violence in America
The Level of Violence in Society Constitutes a National Emergency; Hand Gun Law Prepared

Washington, Apr 18 - WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 18) — In the aftermath of Monday’s deadly shooting in Blacksburg, Virginia, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is proposing a comprehensive, three-point plan to deal with the violence plaguing America, including a ban on handguns.

“The tragic events in Blacksburg, Virginia which took 33 lives are not an isolated example of the effects of gun violence in America. In fact, about 32 people perish each and every day in America in hand gun related incidents,” Kucinich said in a speech to Congress today.

“It is becoming painfully obvious that the easy availability of handguns constituents a growing national crisis of public health and safety, one that calls for a powerful, wide-ranging response from Congress.

“The level of violence in our society constitutes a national emergency. I’m offering an approach to change America’s direction away from death and disintegration and toward life and social cohesiveness.”

Already this Congress, Kucinich has introduced HR 808 and HR 676—two bills that directly relate to the events of Blacksburg. HR 808, legislation to establish a Department of Peace and Nonviolence, addresses the issue of domestic violence, gang violence, and violence in the schools, which is reflected in the current homicide rates. HR 808 has 62 cosponsors.

“The bill provides hope for a transformation through education of our children in principles of nonviolence and support for existing community groups and professionals whose dedication would be empowered by a national commitment to peace and nonviolence,” Kucinich said.

A recent study indicates that many perpetrators of murder had histories of mental illness. The lack of parity for mental healthcare remains one of the most serious deficiencies in healthcare in the United States – the system has long been lacking in substantive support of mental health. HR 676, Medicare for All, would establish a universal not-for-profit healthcare system, which would provide full and comprehensive mental healthcare. More than 14,000 physicians support HR 676 and it is cosponsored by 63 Members of Congress.

Kucinich is currently drafting legislation that would ban the purchase, sale, transfer, or possession of handguns by civilians. A gun buy-back provision will be included in the bill.

“America is being engulfed in violence every day. Let’s show them we have the wisdom and the courage to come from our hearts to meet this challenge,” Kucinich said.

No comments: