WASHINGTON Nov 27 The Obama administration is
taking a cautious step toward confronting the politically tricky
subject of gun violence with an initiative focused on prevention
due to be unveiled on Tuesday.
It will not be the gun control launch that some of President
Barack Obama's supporters hoped for after Obama won a second
four-year term in a Nov. 6 election.
Instead, U.S. Justice Department and Connecticut state
officials will announce what one law enforcement official called
a statewide approach that targets repeat criminals, creates
alternatives for potential gang members and rallies
neighborhoods against violence.
The initiative, known as Project Longevity, will send new
federal grant money to Connecticut and involve agents, academics
and social workers working for or with the FBI and the U.S.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Connecticut Governor
Dan Malloy are scheduled to discuss the plans at a news
conference in New Haven, Connecticut, at 11 a.m. (1600 GMT).
Malloy, a Democrat, in June adopted a strategy known as
"focused deterrence" that targets a small number of suspects who
are under the supervision of probation officers or otherwise
well known to law enforcement.
The model, which emphasizes education and other services for
those suspects, as well as community meetings, has been credited
with reducing violence in Boston and elsewhere.
Federal help for the effort is welcome even if Obama is not
making a push to change laws that make guns easily available in
much of the country, said Ron Pinciaro, executive director of
Connecticut Against Gun Violence.
"The community needs to show a little more outrage on these
things and demand that it be a top priority," Pinciaro said.
"That will be more useful than another law right now."
Obama has repeatedly called for changes to federal gun laws,
including a renewed ban on guns that critics call assault
weapons. An earlier ban expired in 2004, and Obama reiterated
his support for a new one in an October debate with Republican
presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
But with other priorities, and facing strong opposition from
pro-gun lobbyists, Obama has so far put off legislation.