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Weekly Address: President Obama : Protecting Our Kids from Gun Violence

From the White House – Weekly Address

Three months after the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, President Obama says that the Senate has taken important steps forward to help protect our kids by reducing gun violence. The American people made their voices heard, and the Senate made progress to make it harder for criminals and people with serious mental illnesses to get guns, to crack down on anyone trying to funnel guns to criminals, and to reinstate and strengthen a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons. Each of these ideas deserves a vote. The President urges Congress to pass these commonsense measures while affirming our nation’s tradition of responsible gun ownership.

Transcript Helping Protect Our Kids by Reducing Gun Violence  –

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.


  1. Wide public support

    The latest poll from Quinnipiac University released Friday showed that 88 percent of voters nationwide support universal background checks while a paltry 10 percent is opposed. Eighty-five percent of gun voters are also in favor, according to the poll.

  2. wordsinthewind

    is how do we protect ourselves from the violent mentally ill without giving mental health professionals the authority to destroy lives. The Aurora shooter was clearly disturbed, the dr. he was seeing was so alarmed she took steps to protect herself and the school yet set him loose on society. Somehow if mental health professionals are going to have the authority to disarm citizens without due process then they should be held accountable for the damages they knew or should have known about and didn’t act on.  

  3. princesspat

    Bill’s defeat a case study on gun issue

    The gun-control drive in Olympia apparently ended last week, when a modest bill to expand background checks to private gun sales failed to even get a vote.

    Why did it fail? The story of Rep. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, says it all.


    After the NRA leafleted her district, flooding her with 1,000 calls and emails, Walsh changed her position to “no.” So ended the bill’s momentum.

    “I have really come to realize that no legislation will ever address the criminal element as far as guns are concerned,” Walsh said. “Thus the bill only targets (no pun intended) lawful gun owners, and the application of the law would not be logical.”

    Until societal resignation to gun ownership and the voters response to propaganda re gun rights changes it’s going to be slow change.

  4. princesspat

    Slaying suspect’s dad, Colorado governor are friends

    DENVER – Attorney Jack Ebel testified before the Colorado Legislature two years ago that solitary confinement in a Colorado prison was destroying the psyche of his son, Evan.

    When Jack Ebel’s longtime friend, Gov. John Hickenlooper, was interviewing a Missouri corrections official for the top prisons job in Colorado, he mentioned the case as an example of why the prison system needed reform. And once Tom Clements came to Colorado, he eased the use of solitary confinement and tried to make it easier for people housed there to re-enter society.

    Now authorities are investigating whether Evan Spencer Ebel, who was paroled in January, is linked to the slaying of Clements, who was shot and killed Tuesday night when he answered the front door of his house.

    The complexity and personal devastation of this topic fills me with feelings not capable of being expressed in words

  5. Bloomberg’s gun violence group launches $12 million major ad buy

    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun violence group will launch a $12 million ad buy next week, the group’s largest buy yet in the effort to influence the debate over gun-control measures.

    In one of the spots, a man holding a shotgun says, “I believe in the Second Amendment and I’ll fight to protect it. But with rights come responsibilities. That’s why I support comprehensive background checks so criminals and the dangerously mentally ill can’t buy guns.”

    A second spot shows the same man saying, “Background checks have nothing to do with taking guns away from anyone.”


  6. creamer

    in this country. At least half the country is against new taxes, we are trying to curb increasing medical cost. Most of the same crowd that gets checks from the NRA is totally unwilling to vote for anything that will add cost to governing, not to mention their “big brother is coming” attitude.

      Hopefully we will pass a background law that is effective, past that I have little hope. Maybe limiting magazine capacities, no chance at any kind of assault gun ban.

       As much as I would like us to be more responsive to those with mental health issues, I have seen nothing in my lifetime that leads me to think that enough of my countrymen have it within themselves to care about their greater community. That same lack of empathy leads them to believe they need more guns.


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