News / USA

Obama Urges End to Rhetoric Blocking Gun Control Progress

Concerned about eroding momentum for stronger gun control laws, President Barack Obama used remarks in a state shaken by mass shootings to press his call for congressional action.

Related video report by Kent Klein
Obama Pushes For Stronger Gun Lawsi
X
April 04, 2013 7:07 PM
President Barack Obama is taking a two-day Western trip, to rally support for tougher U.S. gun laws. As VOA’s Kent Klein reports from the White House, some polls show that the cause has been losing momentum.
Coloradans live with the memory of two of the nation's worst mass shootings:  the 12 people killed last year when a gunman opened fire in a movie theater in the town of Aurora, and 13 killed in 1999 at Columbine High School.

The state's Democratic-controlled legislature passed strong gun laws, requiring background checks for all gun purchases and limiting the capacity of ammunition clips.

At the Denver Police Academy, Obama met with police and local leaders, and families of victims in the Aurora and Columbine massacres.

Obama also mentioned the massacre of 26 people in Newtown, Connecticut, last December.  He said Congress should follow Colorado's example in passing stronger gun control laws.

"Every day that we wait to do something about it, even more are stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun. The good news is that Colorado has already chosen to do something about it," Obama said.

Obama wants Congress to approve universal background checks for gun purchases, reinstate a ban on military-style assault weapons, and limit the size of ammunition clips.

He urged Republicans in the U.S. Senate not to block consideration of Democrat-crafted legislation.  Debate could come as early as next week.

The White House and gun control advocates are concerned that political momentum has slowed.

Obama urged an end to rhetoric he said is blocking honest discussion about gun violence, and addressed the notion he said some Americans have that he is attacking their constitutional right to gun ownership.

"There doesn’t have to be a conflict between protecting our citizens and protecting our Second Amendment rights," Obama said.

Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer says Obama is on the right side of the gun control issue, while Republicans risk political damage if they block legislation.

"Deciding that you are going to block common sense gun legislation supported by 90 percent of the country, and large numbers and majorities of gun owners, is not going to help your situation," Pfeiffer said.

President Obama continues his efforts to generate more public pressure for stronger gun control laws with a visit next Monday to Hartford, Connecticut.

Wednesday, Connecticut's legislature was poised to join Colorado and New York state in passing strong gun control legislation.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid