“It’s coming back,” said Virginia Senator Joe Manchin Tuesday about his bipartisan bill to expand background checks on gun sales, a bill which failed to pass on its first run through the Senate last month. [more]
President Obama Calling for Action Against Gun Violence After Massacre
In a high profile public speech Wednesday night, President Obama called for stricter firearm background checks, to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable, after the mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater. The president said to make “common sense” steps in order to reduce gun related violence throughout the country.
“A lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals — that they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities,” the president, who has called for reemploying the Assault Weapons Ban, said in a speech to the National Urban League.
“I believe the majority of gun owners would agree that we should do everything possible to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons; that we should check someone’s criminal record before they can check out a gun seller; that a mentally unbalanced individual should not be able to get his hands on a gun so easily,” he said. “These steps shouldn’t be controversial. They should be common sense.”
The president’s speech is his first official public comment on gun control since the massacre, and raised concerns among gun advocates that the president may push for new and stricter legislations to prevent another incident. White house spokesman Jay Carney, mentioned that Obama is focused on tackling the broader issue of violence and not just of gun laws. It was also noted that the president wants to protect the second amendment rights of law abiding United States citizens.
The president also remarked on the current situation of American school kids, “You’re competing against young people in Beijing and Bangalore. They’re not hanging out. They’re not getting over. They’re not playing video games. They’re not watching ‘Real Housewives.’ I’m just saying: It’s a two-way street. You’ve got to earn success,” he said. “That wasn’t in my prepared remarks,” he said, to laughter from the crowd. “But I’m just saying.”
But later, he appeared to suggest that accused Aurora killer James Holmes bought his guns illegally, when in fact he bought them through legal channels.
“A lot of what this young man did was clearly against the law. But the fact that it was against the law did not prevent it from happening,” Romney said. “This person shouldn’t have had any kind of weapons and bombs and other devices and it was illegal for him to have many of those things already. But he had them.”