President Obama addresses gun violence



President Barack Obama fires a gun during target practice at Camp David on Aug. 4, 2012 in this White House photo. The administration released the photo on Feb. 2, 2012 in response to critics who doubted if POTUS had ever held a weapon.


Pete Souza

President Barack Obama addressed the issue of gun violence on Monday, speaking from Minneapolis.

"All the folks standing behind me here today are on the frontlines," said Obama, while being flanked by police officers. He said law enforcement and community leaders must be a part of any discussion to reduce gun violence.

"We may not be able to prevent every massacre or shooting," he said. "But if there's even one thing we can do, one life we can save, then we've got an obligation to try."

"We don't have to agree on everything to agree that we have to do something."

Once again, Obama said that Congress needed to act in order for real change to take hold.

"We want to keep those guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them," he said, describing legislation that would tighten background checks and prevent people from selling to those who failed background checks.

"We should restore the ban on military style weapons," Obama said. "Weapons of war have no place on our streets or in our schools... Our law enforcement officers should never be outgunned on our streets."

"You can't count on anything in Washington until it's done," he said, calling for action.

"The only way we can reduce gun violence is if the American people decide it's important," he said. "We've suffered too much pain to stand by."

"There's no legislation being proposed to subvert the Second Amendment," Obama said, indirectly referring to the National Rifle Association and other gun lobbyists as "filters" that stand in the way of reform.

"There won't be perfect solutions. We can't save every life, but we can make a difference," Obama said, appealing to the public directly to call up their representatives and find out about their stances on gun control measures.

His speech came as legislation moved through the Senate focusing on expanded background checks and limiting ammunition, while setting aside the ban on semi-automatic rifles.

CNN reported that while Obama and other Democrats back a ban on semi-automatic rifles, like the one used in the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut at the end of last year, the NRA and some lawmakers from both parties oppose such a ban, calling it an infringement on constitutional rights.

Obama delivered remarks from the Minneapolis Police Department's Special Operations Center on what the White House calls his "comprehensive set of common-sense ideas to reduce gun violence," The Washington Post said.