Tag Archives: George Mason University

Obama: NRA pushed ‘conspiracy’ theory that ‘somebody’s going to come grab your guns’

President Barack Obama mocked conspiracy theorists and tore into the National Rifle Association for pushing “imaginary fiction,” as he described his plans to tighten gun control rules as modest first steps toward tackling gun violence in America.

In a prime-time, televised town hall meeting last week, Obama fielded tough questions from high-profile gun control opponents and supporters alike, often answering with sympathy and without confrontation as he tried to reassure Americans there is a middle ground on a fiercely divisive issue.

The town hall featured several well-known figures in the gun debate. Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in 2011, stood as her husband, Mark Kelly, asked Obama about confiscation theories. Taya Kyle, whose late husband was depicted in the film American Sniper, asked the president about why he doesn’t highlight falling murder rates. Cleo Pendleton, whose daughter was shot and killed near Obama’s Chicago home, asked about his proposals to stop gun trafficking across state lines.

Kimberly Corban, an NRA supporter, told Obama she’d been raped by an intruder and now feels that owning a gun “seems like my basic responsibility as a parent … I refuse to let that happen again.”

Obama didn’t hold back when asked by CNN moderator Anderson Cooper about the notion that the federal government — and Obama in particular — wants to seize all firearms as a precursor to imposing martial law. He blamed that notion on the NRA and like-minded groups that convince its members that “somebody’s going to come grab your guns.”

“Yes, that is a conspiracy,” Obama said. “I’m only going to be here for another year. When would I have started on this enterprise?” Obama defended his support for the constitutional right to gun ownership while arguing it was consistent with his efforts to curb mass shootings. He said the NRA refused to acknowledge the government’s responsibility to make legal products safer, citing seatbelts and child-proof medicine bottles as examples.

Taking the stage at George Mason University, Obama accused the NRA of refusing to participate in the town hall despite having its headquarters nearby.

“Since this is a main reason they exist, you’d think that they’d be prepared to have a debate with the president,” Obama said.

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said beforehand that the group saw “no reason to participate in a public relations spectacle orchestrated by the White House.” Several NRA members were in the audience for the event, which was organized and hosted by CNN. And the NRA pushed back on Twitter in real time, noting at one point “none of the president’s orders would have stopped any of the recent mass shootings.”

The White House has sought to portray the NRA, the nation’s largest gun group, as possessing a disproportionate influence over lawmakers that has prevented new gun laws despite polls that show broad U.S. support for measures like universal background checks. Last year, following a series of mass shootings, Obama pledged to “politicize” the issue in an attempt to level the playing field for gun control supporters.

The American Firearms Retailers Association, another lobby group that represents gun dealers, did participate in the forum. Asked how business had been since Obama took office, Kris Jacob, vice president of the group, replied: “It’s been busy.”

“There’s a very serious concern in this country about personal security,” he added.

Obama’s actions on guns have drawn major attention in the presidential campaign, with the Democratic candidates backing Obama and the Republicans unanimously voicing opposition. Donald Trump, addressing a rally in Vermont just as Obama was holding the town hall, said he would eliminate gun-free zones in schools on his first day if elected to the White House.

“You know what a gun-free zone is for a sicko? That’s bait,” Trump told the crowd.

Obama’s broadside against the NRA came two days after his unveiling of a package of executive actions aimed at keeping guns from people who shouldn’t have them. The centerpiece is new federal guidance that seeks to clarify who is “in the business” of selling firearms, triggering a requirement to get a license and conduct background checks on all prospective buyers.

The plan has drawn intense criticism from gun rights groups that have accused the president of trampling on the Second Amendment and railroading Congress by taking action on his own without new laws. Just after his 2012 re-election, Obama pushed hard for a bipartisan gun control bill that collapsed in the Senate, ending any realistic prospects for a legislative solution in the near term.

Ahead of the town hall, Obama put political candidates on notice that he would refuse to support or campaign for anyone who “does not support common-sense gun reform” — including Democrats.

All the candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination support stricter gun laws, so Obama’s declaration in a New York Times op-ed isn’t likely to have an impact on the race to replace him. Instead, it appeared aimed at Democratic congressional candidates from competitive districts who might want Obama’s support on the campaign trail this year.

Study examines condom use among gay, bisexual men

A new study by researchers at Indiana University and George Mason University demonstrates that condom use between men involves multiple factors and is influenced by a variety of contextual components – the nature of the sexual partner, location of sexual encounter, prior intercourse with the partner and knowledge of partner’s sexual history with others.

The study involved a large-scale assessment of condom use among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in the United States.

“While gay and bisexual men have been the focus of many public health campaigns given the disproportionate impact of HIV and AIDS in their communities, there remains a need to understand how these men live their sexual lives and the manner in which the specific characteristics of their sexual activities influence condom use,” said co-author Michael Reece, director of Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion. “A less than comprehensive approach to increasing condom use does not work better among these communities than we would expect it to for their heterosexual counterparts.”

Lead author Joshua G. Rosenberger, assistant professor in the global and community health department in the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University, said the study is the one of the first to explore condom use at the event level among a national sample of MSM.

“As such, this study was focused primarily on a single sexual event – the most recent – and therefore these data are able to provide a level of detail about MSM condom use that has not previously been documented,” he said.

A major strength of this study was the inclusion of unique data points designed to capture information regarding men’s ejaculatory behaviors during anal intercourse. About 2.5 percent of the entire sample reported that ejaculation occurred without a condom.

“While MSM have been traditionally categorized as ‘high risk,’ these data suggest that our current framing of risk based solely on gendered sexual behavior may be shortsighted,” Rosenberger said. “Rather, in order to appropriately identify men who are at increased risk for disease acquisition, clinicians must inquire more thoroughly about potential modes of disease transmission.”

The researchers also found: 

• Rates of condom use were highest among men ages 18 to 24.

• Men who identified as black, Hispanic/Latino or Asian were all significantly more likely than those who identified as white to report a condom being used.

• Men who indicated that they were not in a romantic relationship with their most recent male sexual partner were significantly more likely to report a condom being used during intercourse

• Men were more likely to have used a condom when intercourse occurred in their sexual partner’s home or a hotel/motel, compared with other locations.

Download a PDF of the current issue of Wisconsin Gazette and join our Facebook community.

Study: anal sex least common love-making activity among gay men

A new study of gay men shows that anal sex is the least common form of love-making activity between males.

Researchers from George Mason University, Indiana University and the OLB Research Institute at Online Buddies, Inc., conducted the study, which found 1,308 unique combinations of behaviors that men engage in with each other. Unlike previous studies, this one was not focused on behaviors that are considered at high risk for HIV transmission but rather on sexual behaviors as a whole.

The study was conducted online involving a huge sample of 24,787 gay and bisexual men.

Only 37.2 percent of men who participated in the study reported having anal sex during their last encounters. The most frequent sexual behavior reported was kissing – 74.5 percent. The second-most popular behavior was oral sex (72.7 percent), followed by partnered masturbation (68.4 percent).

The study also found that more than 40 percent of participants were having sexual relations with someone they were either committed to or dating. A similar study of heterosexual men that found just over 50 percent reported their last sexual partner was someone they were committed to.

The results of the new study indicate that safe-sex education may be resulting in unrealistic expectations about the sexuality of gay and bi men and missing important opportunities to improve their sexual health.

Study finds anal sex less common among gay men than other behaviors

A new study of gay men shows that anal sex is the least common form of love-making activity between males.

Researchers from George Mason University, Indiana University and the OLB Research Institute at Online Buddies, Inc., conducted the study, which found 1,308 unique combinations of behaviors that men engage in with each other. Unlike previous studies, this one was not focused on behaviors that are considered at high risk for HIV transmission but rather on sexual behaviors as a whole.

The study was conducted online involving a huge sample of 24,787 gay and bisexual men.

Only 37.2 percent of men who participated in the study reported having anal sex during their last encounters. The most frequent sexual behavior reported was kissing – 74.5 percent. The second-most popular behavior was oral sex (72.7 percent), followed by partnered masturbation (68.4 percent).

The study also found that more than 40 percent of participants were having sexual relations with someone they were either committed to or dating. A similar study of heterosexual men that found just over 50 percent reported their last sexual partner was someone they were committed to.

The results of the new study indicate that safe-sex education may be resulting in unrealistic expectations about the sexuality of gay and bi men and missing important opportunities to improve their sexual health.