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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid