From NPR News in Washington, I am Louise Schiavone.
With the nation focused on gun violence and what can be done to prevent it, emotions were high at a news conference in Washington.
“[We've got to end the party; we've got to] end the violence.”
As the National Rifle Association sought to defend its advocacy of gun ownership, executive vice president Wayne LaPierre told reporters the NRA is not the enemy.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
The NRA says Congress should foot the bill to make it possible for communities to station an armed police officer at every school. Across the nation, Americans including President Obama observed a moment of silence this morning in memory of those lost to gun violence last week at Sandy Hook Elementary. NPR’s Scott Horsley reports the White House has been flooded with appeals for action.
Hundreds of thousands of people have gone to the White House website\s, signing petitions against gun violence. President Obama has assigned Vice President Biden to lead the government[’s] response. In a video reply to petitioners, Mr. Obama says that efforts will only succeed if the people who are concerned about gun violence stay involved.
“That’s how change happens, because of committed Americans who work to make it happen, because of you. You started something, and now I am asking you to keep at it.”
The Vice President is expected to present his recommendations next month. Those could include steps to improve mental healthcare and stricter government gun control. Scott Horsley, NPR News, the White House.
Funeral services were held today at Washington’s National Cathedral for Senator Daniel Inouye, a Hawaii Democrat. As NPR’s David Welna reports Inouye lost an arm in World War II and went on to become the nation’s second longest-serving Senator.
In his nearly 50 years in the Senate, Daniel Inouye was a top member of the Watergate Committee, chaired the [Iran-Contra hearings] and died chairman of the Appropriations Committee. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hailed his late colleague.
“Whenever there was a difficult job to do, whenever we needed a noble man, a noble man to lean on, we always turned to Senator Daniel Inouye.”
President Obama remembers Inouye is perhaps his earliest political inspiration.
“Can you believe this, we say in Hawaii that we are (a) single Lohana, that we’re one family. [And] he\’s devoted his life to making that family strong.”
The President said Inouye taught him America has a place for everyone. David Welna, NPR News, the Capitol.
Having failed to rally his own party behind a GOP plan to avert the “fiscal cliff”, Speaker of the House John Boehner says he is not giving up. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi say that talks must continue.
On Wall Street at this hour, the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 138; NASDAQ down 37. This is NPR.
The figures are still weak, but for the first time since 2009, California’s unemployment rate has dipped below double digits. The State’s reporting its November jobless rate was 9.8%. The state reports California has added more than a half million non-formal jobs since the recovery started two years ago.
Mario Monti has made it official he will not seek election to a term as president of Italy. For 13 months, Monti led his nation guiding fiscal policy and preparing the country for national elections. He had pledged to step down when the Italian parliament approved a budget law. While he has submitted his resignation, he has agreed to stay on until elections in February.
Authorities say four people are dead after a shooting along a rural road in Central Pennsylvania. Several state troopers were also injured, as NPR’s Joel Rose reports.
Blair county district attorney Richard Consiglio told the Associated Press that four people were killed, including the gunman and that three state troopers were injured. Consiglio says the shooting scene extended across several miles near the Pennsylvanian town of Hollidaysburg, about 100 miles west of Harrisburg. Authorities say one of the injured troopers was shot but was protected by his bullet-proof vest while another was injured in a vehicle crash. Hollidaysburg [borough] manager Mark [Shoria] says nearby schools were not placed on<and lockdown and that the public is not in any danger. Joel Rose, NPR News.
Author Larry L. King has died. [His writing] led to the Anthony Award nominated musical "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas". He was 83, and had battled emphysema.
I am Louise Schiavone, NPR News.