By Donna Leinwand Leger, USA TODAY

Radical anti-government “patriot” groups and militias, galvanized against gun control, will continue to grow even as the number of groups operating in the USA reached an all-time high in 2012, a report Tuesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center finds.

The center tracked 1,360 radical militias and anti-government groups in 2012, an eightfold increase over 2008, when it recorded 149 such groups. The explosive growth began four years ago, sparked by the election of President Obama and anger about the poor economy, the center says. That growth is likely to continue as the groups recruit more members with a pro-gun message, the center’s senior fellow Mark Potok said.

President Obama’s second term and a gun control movement bolstered by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School is intensifying anti-government rage and will lead to more growth for the groups, Potok said. Read the full article at usatoday.com.


By Jordan Fabian, ABC News

President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address on Tuesday to call for new programs to bolster the middle class and create jobs while pressuring Congress to pass key items of his ambitious second-term agenda.

But the most powerful moment of the speech came when Obama implored lawmakers to take up “common sense” gun-control measures like expanded background checks and a ban on high-powered “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines.

“Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote,” the president said. “Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.”

Obama made these comments with nearly four dozen victims of gun violence and their families in attendance, including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and her husband Mark Kelly. In response, scores of lawmakers rose to their feet during a crescendo of applause. Read the full article at abcnews.com.


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California legislator Tim Donnelly

By Cavan Sieczkowski, Huffington Post

A California Republican legislator, who is a vocal opponent of President Barack Obama’s gun control proposal, believes that guns are “essential to living the way God intended.”

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly called in to the AM740 KBRITE Christian radio show, “The Bottom Line,” to discuss gun control on Wednesday, when he revealed that he believes firearms are part of God’s plan.

“Guns are used an average of 3 million times a year according to the Clinton Justice Department,” Donnelly said via RawStory. “That’s like 6,900 times a day. That’s the high end of the statistics. Other people say it’s only 200 times a day. Whatever that number is, they are used to defend human life. They are used to defend our property and our families and our faith and our freedom, and they are absolutely essential to living the way God intended for us to live.

Annie-Rose Strasser of ThinkProgress notes that Donnelly’s “God and guns” argument can be disputed by Bible verses pointing to the notion that “life should focus on family, not firearms.” Read the full story at HuffingtonPost.com.