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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora