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In an Op-Ed essay in the Arizona Daily Star, Mr. Obama says legislation to bolster criminal background checks for gun buyers hasn’t been properly implemented, with too many states providing “incomplete and inadequate” information.

He suggested rewarding states that provide the most comprehensive information to the criminal background database.

“We should make the system faster and nimbler,” the president added. “We should provide an instant, accurate, comprehensive and consistent system for background checks to sellers who want to do the right thing, and make sure that criminals can’t escape it.”

The Arizona Daily Star is based in Tucson, where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot during a January rampage in which six were killed and 12 others wounded. The accused assailant, Jared Lee Loughner, was considered mentally unstable, yet because he was never deemed mentally ill by a judge or committed to an institution, he was able to legally buy the gun police said he used.

Mr. Obama acknowledged that it isn’t easy to find common ground between gun owners and gun-control advocates.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


Shock jocks impact politics

LOS ANGELES | California’s new governor faces daunting obstacles as he tries to erase a $26.6 billion budget gap, but one of the hardest to ignore is a pair of outspoken AM-radio hosts.

John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou use their daily “John and Ken Show” to browbeat and menace any Republican who might consider sidling up with the Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who wants to raise about $50 billion by extending higher sales, vehicle and income taxes.

Dismiss them as political shock jocks or admire them as conservative crusaders, but there is no dispute that Mr. Kobylt and Mr. Chiampou are entertainment hotshots in Southern California and part of the fabric of conservative politics in the state.

They have been on the air for nearly two decades in the Los Angeles market and have a grip on the loudest megaphone around: their KFI-AM program is the top-rated talk-radio show in the region.

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