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As I’ve said before, we may not be able to prevent every act of violence in this country. But together, we have an obligation to try. We have an obligation to do what we can.

Three months after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., President Obama revisited the topic of curbing gun violence in his weekly address.

Today there is still genuine disagreement among well-meaning people about what steps we should take to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in this country. But you – the American people – have spoken. You’ve made it clear that it’s time to do something. And over the last few weeks, Senators here in Washington have listened and taken some big steps forward.
The big steps forward, he told listeners, are:
  • The Senate advanced a bill to make it harder for criminals and the mentally ill to purchase a gun;
  • The Senate "made progress on a bill that would crack down on anyone who buys a gun as part of a scheme to funnel it to criminals;"
  • The Senate "took steps to reinstate and strengthen a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons, set a 10-round limit for magazines, and make our schools safer."

(For those keeping track at home, note that all "progress" has been in the Democratic-controlled Senate, not the Republican-controlled House.)

"These ideas shouldn’t be controversial," said President Obama. "They’re common sense. They’re supported by a majority of the American people. And I urge the Senate and the House to give each of them a vote."

He closed with an argument that we need to seize the moment to push through real change:

Right now, we have a real chance to reduce gun violence in America, and prevent the very worst violence.  We have a unique opportunity to reaffirm our tradition of responsible gun ownership, and also do more to keep guns out of the hands of criminals or people with a severe mental illness.

We’ve made progress over the last three months, but we’re not there yet.  And in the weeks ahead, I hope Members of Congress will join me in finishing the job – for our communities and, most importantly, for our kids.

To read the transcript in full, check below the fold or visit the White House website.


It has now been three months since the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut. Three months since we lost 20 innocent children and six dedicated adults who had so much left to give. Three months since we, as Americans, began asking ourselves if we’re really doing enough to protect our communities and keep our children safe.

For the families who lost a loved one on that terrible day, three months doesn’t even begin to ease the pain they’re feeling right now. It doesn’t come close to mending the wounds that may never fully heal.

But as a nation, the last three months have changed us. They’ve forced us to answer some difficult questions about what we can do – what we must do – to prevent the kinds of massacres we’ve seen in Newtown and Aurora and Oak Creek, as well as the everyday tragedies that happen far too often in big cities and small towns all across America.

Today there is still genuine disagreement among well-meaning people about what steps we should take to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in this country. But you – the American people – have spoken. You’ve made it clear that it’s time to do something. And over the last few weeks, Senators here in Washington have listened and taken some big steps forward.

Two weeks ago, the Senate advanced a bill that would make it harder for criminals and people with a severe mental illness from getting their hands on a gun – an idea supported by nine out of ten Americans, including a majority of gun owners.

The Senate also made progress on a bill that would crack down on anyone who buys a gun as part of a scheme to funnel it to criminals – reducing violent crime and protecting our law enforcement officers.

Finally, the Senate took steps to reinstate and strengthen a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons, set a 10-round limit for magazines, and make our schools safer places for kids to learn and grow.

These ideas shouldn’t be controversial – they’re common sense. They’re supported by a majority of the American people. And I urge the Senate and the House to give each of them a vote.

As I’ve said before, we may not be able to prevent every act of violence in this country. But together, we have an obligation to try. We have an obligation to do what we can.

Right now, we have a real chance to reduce gun violence in America, and prevent the very worst violence. We have a unique opportunity to reaffirm our tradition of responsible gun ownership, and also do more to keep guns out of the hands of criminals or people with a severe mental illness.

We’ve made progress over the last three months, but we’re not there yet. And in the weeks ahead, I hope Members of Congress will join me in finishing the job – for our communities and, most importantly, for our kids. Thanks.
 

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Comment Preferences

  •  Society has to step in (8+ / 0-)

    where parents fail to safeguard their kids or put there kids in danger. This means that there has to be drastic changes to this countries gun law. It doesn't matter that 99% of parents will always be responsible - we have to legislate for the 1% that are not. This is how law works and it must be applied to guns as it is applied to everything else.

     

    •  Oh? So you are in favor of warrantless wiretaps? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      How Much, andalusi

      After all, only a small number of phone calls are used to plan nefarious actions, but "it doesn't matter that 99% will be responsible-we have to legislate for the 1% that are not"?

      Should we get rid of presumption of innocence, after all "it doesn't matter that 99% are responsible--we have to legislate for 1% that are not"?

      Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

      by FrankRose on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:32:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama is preaching... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ishmaelbychoice, unionblue, pvasileff

    To the choir or the 90% if you will, on this one. If only the Congress would do the right thing. I'm not holding my breath. Just look at all the back slapping and celebrations after Republican Senators finally decided not to filibuster the budget (for 6 months at least).

  •  Why must Obama take away my LIBERTIES and (5+ / 0-)

    FREEDOMS?

  •  My daughter turned 18 on the 21st. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unionblue, a2nite, 88kathy

    She and her boyfriend went to the movies.   Know what she remembers about her 18th birthday?   She remembers a yellow rope line.  A man earlier sitting under a tree and blowing his head off.  Yeah I am real tired of this shit.

    Great birthday huh?

    http://www.chronicleonline.com/...

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 07:17:55 AM PDT

  •  For all the pro gunners afraid of imaginary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, a2nite, unionblue, 88kathy

    dictators, please read:

    Comparing gun control activism to Hitler is not new. In a 1994 book, "Guns, Crime and Freedom," NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre wrote that "In Germany, firearm registration helped lead to the Holocaust."

    But Paulsson, whose mother was freed from the Auschwitz concentration camp at the end of the war, dismisses that argument as twisting the facts.

    "Ideologues always try to shoehorn history into their own categories and read into the past things that serve their own particular purposes," he said.

    http://abcnews.go.com/...
    •  USA took away Germany's guns twice, WWI WWII (0+ / 0-)

      Hitler armed Germany.

      guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

      by 88kathy on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:13:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So, you're saying that if you want to occupy a (0+ / 0-)

        nation through force of arms, you need to disarm them?

        Great argument.

        Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

        by FrankRose on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:38:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is what usually happens in a war. (0+ / 0-)
          Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
          Don't mess with the US.

          guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

          by 88kathy on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:59:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The hysterical rightful gunners had a story that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite, We Shall Overcome

          Hitler disarmed the Germans and thus came to power. Fractured fairy tails the hysterically paranoid revel in.

          guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

          by 88kathy on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 02:01:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The point is pro gun supporters can either stop (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite

          trying to make the case that 100% universal background checks that include a record of sale will lead to a tyrannical dictator who wants to enslave and/or kills us all, or they can continue with this malarky and pay the ultimate political price - watch 100% universal background check with a record of sale pass into law AND be so marginalized in the process that an AWB also passes.

  •  We have dramatically reduced car accident deaths (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, judyms9, unionblue

    via INCREASED SAFETY REGULATIONS for cars and more aggressive DRUNK driving enforcement (which may be profit oriented but is still helping lower the death rate associated with legal alcohol).

    Ergo, I believe, if the NRA and a subculture of imbecilic sociopaths can stop interfering, we could really reduce deaths and - particularly - accidental shootings. I don't think "I thought it was unloaded" is a sufficient excuse and should result in at least a temporary impounding of one's firearms.

    Yes, driving is a priveldge and guns are a right, but, our govenment is unafraid to enter your home for less than hurting other people so I see this as doable.

    All our other rights have been trampled, so I don't know why the second amendment is so sacred, really. Probably because guns are a bit more tangible than my freedom to stand in the street and protest some stupid shit the government does.

    If my freedom of speech has a 30 minute shelf life, you can have your guns impounded for a little while if you actually harm somebody, even yourself, pending a cursory review or a gun safety course. You know, like DUI school.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 07:26:03 AM PDT

  •  what about the School Safety Enhancements Act? (0+ / 0-)
  •  Based on the Statistics (0+ / 0-)

    One way to protect your kids from gun violence is to not let them play with the neighbor kid next door-- if the kid's parents leave handguns lying around the house for the kids to play with.

    "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

    by Superpole on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 07:49:56 AM PDT

  •  For a significant reduction in gun homicides (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaktidurga, squarewheel

    addressing the high volumes of murders is required for success.  Reducing access to assault weapons will do little even if 100% successful, as murders with these weapons are less than 2% of the problem.

    Government should focus on cities that exceed 150% of the US average  murder rates using methods New York City and others have successfully used to bring down high rates to somewhat above the national average (4.8 per 100,000 per year), now 5.6 in NYC.

    Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/... and sort the table by murder rate.  We have 28 cities with murder rates at or above 200% of the national average, and some greater than 1,100% the national rate.

    There are also major benefits to the people who live in these cities beyond the lower homicide rate, as these cities quality of life, employment and income growth are suppressed from high levels of violent crime.  Funding from the Federal government to suppress crime in these cities will likely pay for itself from the increased economic activity as violent crime declines - but the major decrease in homicides is the biggest gain for us all.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 07:57:40 AM PDT

    •  agreed - the assault weapon ban is typical window (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nextstep

      dressing.

      looks like you're doing something without doing much at all.

      and the death merchants will fight anything tooth and nail, so why not go for the gold ?

      let's amend the constitution.

      of course, it's one thing to identify the problem, the question is what to do about it.

      big badda boom : GRB 090423

      by squarewheel on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:06:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Then there are the suicides...like the one two (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy

    towns away this week in which an eighth grader took a family member's glock to middle school and blew his brains out in the boys' lav during first hour.  One of the kids the local teevee interviewed expressed his gratitude that the dead boy hadn't try to shoot anyone else in the school first.  Think on that mindset, boys and girls.  We've become a nation that embraces, yes, embraces gun violence as long as it's not our own skulls being blown into the stratosphere.  American Exceptionalism?

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 08:09:32 AM PDT

    •  And yet the responsible owner of the rightful (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      judyms9, a2nite

      gun bears no responsibility and is free to run to the store to replace the toy he lost.

      When will rightful gun owners have to keep their guns under penalty of law. No oopsie allowed.

      guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

      by 88kathy on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:18:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Urging "to give [the bills] a vote" - how sad (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, diffrntdrummr

    Presidents used to ask Congress to pass laws.  Now, Obama has to urge Congress just to give these gun safety bills a vote.  Why? Because Republican obstructionism in the Senate and control of the agenda in the House means that our representatives don't necessarily even get to vote on the bills the people want passed. If the people are going to have a chance to get a Congress that agrees with them in 2014, we need to get the incumbents on record for their unpopular views.

  •  Let's stop gun manufacturers from dealing death (0+ / 0-)

    in the first place.  If Congress had any integrity it would legislate new limits on gun manufacturers, limiting sales of firearms to law enforcement and military excepting perhaps ten weapons suitable for hunting.  They would need also to set up real oversight of those companies.  How about also making it illegal to sell outside of the US, surely there are enough weapons in the world already.

    "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe it." Neil deGrasse Tyson

    by pvasileff on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:58:21 AM PDT

  •  gun violence (0+ / 0-)

    Gun violence will not cease to exist. It just won't. The powers that be encourage the destruction of society through shady banking practices, drug running by government sponsers and gun running adding fuel to the fire. It is a letal mix. The arguement that we must do this for the children holds no water, unless you count the children of other countries. When you allow your agents to slaughter others in your good name, then you have no leg to stand on when it comes time to talk about your kids. Most gun deaths are the result of suicide, which on the face of it, may actually be helpful. Let's say that most gun owners are registered repugnicans. If these people are hell bent on offing themselves, well then, let them. One less vote to worry about. Better than throwing themselves off a building and becoming maimed and we have to care for them through social programs that would otherwise be put to good use, like filling pot holes and scraping rust off of a bridge somewhere.

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