News / USA

Obama Calls for Anti-Violence Measures

President Barack Obama address the National Urban League Conference in New Orleans, Wednesday, July 25, 2012President Barack Obama address the National Urban League Conference in New Orleans, Wednesday, July 25, 2012
x
President Barack Obama address the National Urban League Conference in New Orleans, Wednesday, July 25, 2012
President Barack Obama address the National Urban League Conference in New Orleans, Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Kent Klein
WHITE HOUSE — President Barack Obama says he will work with Congress to find ways to reduce violence in America.  The president spoke Wednesday, several days after 12 people were killed in a shooting rampage at a Colorado movie theater.
 
Gun violence in America

President Obama made some of his strongest comments yet on gun violence in a speech to the annual convention of the National Urban League, a civil rights organization representing African-Americans.

Black communities across the country have suffered disproportionately from shooting deaths, although most of the victims of last week’s outburst in Colorado were white.

The president said he will work with lawmakers from both parties to stop violence like the attack near Denver and the continuing threat of violent crime in many other cities.

Obama said that while he supports Americans’ constitutional right to own guns, he believes gun ownership should be more tightly regulated. “But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47’s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals," he told the crowd. "That they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.”

The president spoke at the end of a four-day campaign trip to five states.  He began the tour earlier than planned, on Sunday, with a visit to the shooting victims and their families in Colorado.

Support among African-Americans remains high for Obama, the first black U.S. president.  But the president decided not to speak at the convention of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) earlier this month, citing a scheduling conflict.  Vice President Joe Biden addressed the convention instead.

Some African-American leaders have expressed disappointment that the president is not doing more to specifically help black Americans.

Initiative to improve education

At the Urban League convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, Obama announced that he will sign an executive order Thursday aimed at improving education for African-American students.

“That is why tomorrow [Thursday] I am establishing the first-ever White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans.  So that every child has greater access to a complete and competitive education, from the time they are born all through the time they get a career,” Obama stated.

Economy stalemate

The president also addressed the economy, which surveys show is the main concern of U.S. voters.  He suggested that the November election will break the ongoing impasse between Democrats and Republicans, and determine the country’s direction.

“What is holding us back is a stalemate in Washington, between two fundamentally different views of which path we should take as a country," Obama explained. "And it is up to the American people to decide which direction we should go.”

Obama said the United States has all the ingredients to make the 21st century an “American Century,” like the 20th.

You May Like

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mike from: Gold Coasrt
July 26, 2012 8:33 AM
hes a great oritor... the best ever in the US, but backing up is the challenge... for both!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs