News / USA

Obama on Gun Violence: 'This Time Must Be Different'

U.S. President Barack Obama signs executive orders on gun violence during an event at the White House in Washington, January 16, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama signs executive orders on gun violence during an event at the White House in Washington, January 16, 2013.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have introduced new gun-control proposals, saying the nation has an obligation to do everything possible to prevent mass shootings.

U.S. President Barack Obama's signature is seen on a set of executive orders that he signed prior to unveiling a series of proposals to counter gun violence, at the White House in Washington, January 16, 2013.U.S. President Barack Obama's signature is seen on a set of executive orders that he signed prior to unveiling a series of proposals to counter gun violence, at the White House in Washington, January 16, 2013.
x
U.S. President Barack Obama's signature is seen on a set of executive orders that he signed prior to unveiling a series of proposals to counter gun violence, at the White House in Washington, January 16, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama's signature is seen on a set of executive orders that he signed prior to unveiling a series of proposals to counter gun violence, at the White House in Washington, January 16, 2013.
In announcing the gun-control proposals Vice President Joe Biden invoked the memory of the 20 children and six adults killed last month at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

"No one will know for certain if this senseless act could have been prevented, but we all know we have a moral obligation, a moral obligation, to diminish the prospect that something like this could ever happen again," Biden said.

​Obama and Biden, who headed the gun-violence task force that researched the proposals, spoke to a packed auditorium in the Old Executive Office Building next to the White House.

In the audience were family members of victims of the Connecticut shooting. Behind Obama and Biden were four children who wrote letters to the president after the tragedy.

Obama said protecting children should not be a divisive challenge.  

"In the month since 20 precious children and six brave adults were violently taken from us at Sandy Hook Elementary, more than 900 of our fellow Americans have reportedly died at the end of a gun - 900 in the past month.  And every day we wait that number will keep growing," he said.
   
President Obama's Plan to Reduce Gun Violence

  • Close background check loopholes
  • Ban military-style assault weapons
  • Ban high-capacity magazines
  • Make schools safer and ensure they have emergency management plans
  • Increase access to mental health services
  • End the freeze on gun violence research
Obama wants Congress to approve universal background checks for anyone trying to buy a gun, limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines, and to ban assault-style weapons.

He signed 23 executive orders aimed at strengthening the background check system, developing emergency response plans for schools and religious institutions, and addressing mental health issues linked to gun violence.

The president said he respects the Second Amendment right to own guns and appealed to Americans, including responsible gun owners, to support effective action.

"There are millions of responsible law-abiding gun owners in America who cherish their right to bear arms for hunting or sport or collection," Obama said. "I also believe that most gun owners agree that we can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible law-breaking few from inflicting harm on a massive scale."

​Related video report by Kent Klein
Obama Gun Control Measures Face Oppositioni
X
January 17, 2013 2:12 AM
It could be weeks before the U.S. Congress considers President Barack Obama's wide-ranging recommendations on reducing gun violence in the United States. The president wants universal background checks for gun buyers and a ban on military-style assault weapons, among other steps, but his proposals are likely to meet stiff opposition from some lawmakers. VOA’s Kent Klein reports from the White House.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) has accused Obama of attacking the Second Amendment and vows to fight gun control legislation on Capitol Hill.

Monday the group issued a video criticizing the president's opposition to putting more armed guards in schools, and noting that the president's daughters receive Secret Service protection.

The NRA video asked, "Are the president's kids more important than yours? Then why is he skeptical about plutting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?"

White House spokesman Jay Carney condemned the ad, saying making "the safety of the president's children the subject of an attack ad is repugnant and cowardly."

City and police officials from Philadelphia and New York, representatives of gun control groups, and family members of gun violence victims spoke with reporters.

Annette Nance-Holt lost her son to gun violence in Chicago, President Obama's home town.

"We need the American public to speak up about this issue and speak to the legislators to change their minds and change their hearts to do the right thing, because you too can be me and you can lose your only child," she said.

"In order for change to happen on this issue the American public is going to need to make its voice heard," said Dan Gross, who heads the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Obama said he knows the gun violence battle will be difficult, predicting that opponents will warn of a "tyrannical all-out assault on liberty" and try to block common sense reform.

He said change will come only if Americans, including those in areas where there is a strong tradition of gun ownership, push representatives in Congress and say "this time must be different."

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Derek from: NJ
January 18, 2013 10:11 AM
In DC v. Heller the US Supreme Court held the 2nd Amend protects an individual right to keep & bear arms of the type in common use of the day. Semi-auto rifles like the AR-15 (which is not an assault rifle) along w/ 30 round mags are in common use today in shooting competitions and recreational shooting by millions of Americans. Banning AR-15s & the like is unconstitutional. The real problem is lack of care for mental health patients in the US. Mentally disturbed people account for a large number of violent crimes but they rarely get the proper care they need. Obama should focus on improving mental health care, not denying law-abiding Americans their constitutional rights.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid