News / USA

Obama Vows Quick Push for New US Gun Curbs

U.S. President Barack Obama looks at his notes during remarks to reporters after meeting with congressional leaders at the White House in Washington, December 28, 2012.
U.S. President Barack Obama looks at his notes during remarks to reporters after meeting with congressional leaders at the White House in Washington, December 28, 2012.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama is pledging to put the "full weight" of the White House behind efforts to curb American gun violence.

Obama said Sunday, in an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, an assault two weeks ago at a Connecticut elementary school that left 20 children and six adults dead was the worst day of his four-year presidency.

The president said he would rally Americans behind proposals to increase background checks on people trying to buy guns and ban the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.  Vice President Joe Biden is to head a panel to develop legislation aimed at ending mass shootings in the United States, where gun ownership rights are enshrined in the country's Constitution.

Obama said new curbs on gun ownership will be controversial, but the United States has to decide whether it has the resolve to adopt more controls, rather than let the memory of the schoolhouse attack fade as time passes.

"The question then becomes whether we are actually shook up enough by what happened here that it does not just become another one of these routine episodes where it gets a lot of attention for a couple of weeks and then it drifts away," he said.  "It certainly will not feel like that to me.  This is something that - you know, that was the worst day of my presidency.  And it's not something that I want to see repeated."

But Obama said he was skeptical of a call by the nation's most prominent gun lobby, the National Rifle Association, to put armed guards in all of the nearly 100,000 public schools in the U.S.

"I am skeptical that the only answer is putting more guns in schools. And I think the vast majority of the American people are skeptical that that somehow is going to solve our problem,''
he said.

On another issue, the president said there were "severe problems in diplomatic security" that led to the September 11 killing of four U.S. envoys at the country's consulate in Benghazi, Libya.  He said the assault is still under investigation, but declined to say who U.S. officials believe carried out the attack. 

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
December 30, 2012 9:18 PM
I find it difficult to believe the same president who signed a bill allowing abortion, would really have a deep concern about a few children and adults who have been killed in a single incident. The taking of innocent life has to deal with moral problems in our society - rather than issues of the availability of weapons. If one looks at these types of crimes, you will see that the other common denominator is not just the weapon(s) but also teenagers who have NO moral discernment and value for human life. Perhaps this "lack" of parental guidance should be looked into. The availability of weapons is almost insignificant when compared to motives. Think about this the next time your child asks for a new computer game that involves "killing"...

by: Nomad
December 30, 2012 5:25 PM
President Obama failed to ensure that our diplomatic staff in Libya was adequately protected. And he's skeptical about placing armed security in schools to protect our children. But, I'm pretty sure that he's very much interested in the personal safety and security of Americans. Disarm us all. That'll do it.

by: Bill Williams from: USA
December 30, 2012 2:18 PM
Let's see.. how many guns in the form of Secret Service agents are in his daughter's school?

Chase the Secret Service Agents out of their school then get back to me.

by: Steve from: usa
December 30, 2012 1:29 PM
Never let a catastrophe go to waste. This community organizer needs to stand trial for treason and incompetence, plus voter fraud

by: john george from: columbus ohio
December 30, 2012 1:20 PM
obama, all you need to do is make it a mandatory death crime. don't take away good peoples rights to equal firepower that the criminals already have and any law you pass curbing these weapons will do no good. no matter what you pass, no matter how you curb and no matter how you try and stop them criminals have and will always have a way to own them. theres nothing you can do or say to ever stop them. the only way to stop them is good citizens protecting there families, neighbors, friends and in my case my customers to. good people don't deserve to be overpowered with better armaments. think before you leap obama. my pistol don't stand a chance against a semi or fully automatic gun. no one can account for idiots and you know that. killers need to be deterred the only way to do that is equal firepower. don't cut the throats of good people.

by: Jordan Cramshaw from: Middleton
December 30, 2012 1:07 PM
I appreciate the pressure the "liberal left" is putting on the president. However, his priorities should be 1) Get people back to work 2) Focus on and emphasis the positive things that are happening in our great USA 3) and, stop separating the citizens of America. A "positive attitude" and the willingness to express and promote this attitude will undermine the troubled persons who are struggling and only see evil as their way out of our Nations current dilemma. We need leadership that is capable of creating this critical component.

by: Concerned Parent from: United States
December 30, 2012 1:06 PM
I am a legal gun owner who submitted to background checks, completed the appropriate training, and take gun ownership seriously. As law-abiding citizens we are expected to navigate the labyrinth of conflicting state laws regarding firearms and we do successfully everyday. Although many of these laws are conflicting between neighboring states, we still respect them and abide by them everyday. Let’s make it easy for everyone (including David Gregory) and develop a basic framework across the United States.
With 300 million firearms in private hands (one-third of them pistols), the overwhelming majority of gun owners ARE responsible, law-abiding citizens, which is why these horrific massacres are not commonplace, but rather horrific outliers that can never be legislated away (e.g. DC, Chicago, and “Gun Free Zones”). We need teach personal responsibility to our children, family, friends, neighbors and politicians and hold them accountable for their actions.
For several examples for the recent use of firearms for defensive purposes not typically reported by the national media please visit: http://www.equalforce.net and forward this address to others to whom this information may be useful. @forceequalizer

by: fyveates from: Canada
December 30, 2012 1:03 PM
The focus on guns is not the answer. The focus should be on our haywire society and what we can do to improve it so that it does not turn out so many maniacs.

by: DiglessWunderbalz from: North Pole
December 30, 2012 12:58 PM
Any new law would not scoop up all the high capacity magazines out there, and by the time they could police that stuff up, technology will have advanced to solve these security issues anyway.

Beef up school security instead, for now. One armed guard per school, some school staff with Tasers, and a police presence at school start and school end each day, and a rapid response plan with the police, ballistic glass on front door, and more stringent procedures as to who can get into a building and when.

by: Anonymous
December 30, 2012 12:55 PM
So he trusts secret services guns to protect his daughters but finds it hard to believe armed people can end massacres early?

How are people not skeptical of the idea that disarming citizens will protect those citizens?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
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 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.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs