Mon, Jan 14, 2013 - Page 9 News List

Guns play key role in the US’ shorter life expectancy

The US has one of the lowest life expectancy rates in the ‘developed’ world, attributed to bad diet, poverty and an increasingly violent, gun-owning culture

By Kevin Freking, Erica Werner, Michael  /  Melia and Michael Gormley AP, Washington

A day ahead of a meeting with the NRA, Biden signaled that the administration is mindful of political realities that could imperil sweeping gun control legislation and is willing to settle for something less. He said the administration is considering its own executive action as well as measures by Congress.

“I want to make it clear that we are not going to get caught up in the notion that unless we can do everything, we’re going to do nothing,” Biden said at the White House.

Connecticut, a relatively liberal Northeastern state that nevertheless has a strong gun culture and is home to some of the nation’s best-known firearm makers, is moving cautiously on gun control.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, became choked up in his State of the State Address on Wednesday last week, vowing to do “everything in our power to ensure that Connecticut never again suffers such a loss.” He offered no specific proposals, instead noting that an advisory panel he set up last week will issue recommendations in March on gun control.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a wide-ranging package of restrictions on Wednesday last week, including closing loopholes in a New York ban on assault weapons and ammunition magazines that carry more than 10 bullets.

Cuomo, who owns a shotgun and has hunted, sought to balance his call for action with a note of respect for gun owners.

“Guns have both a noble and a tragic tradition in America and in New York state,” Cuomo said. “They are a sign of our nation’s fiercely defended independence and self-reliance ... [but] in the wrong hands, guns are also weapons of untold destruction and heartbreak.”

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