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

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    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.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.