Obama responds to petitions against gun violence
December 21st, 2012
09:24 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama responds to petitions against gun violence

(CNN) – President Barack Obama responded personally Friday to numerous petitions against gun violence, a task normally left to other White House staff.

"I want to take a minute today to respond and let you know, we hear you," he said in a web video.

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The video came in response to 32 "We the People" petitions on gun control, many of them created after the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting. One of the petitions, found on the White House's website, amassed nearly 200,000 signatures.

Since last week's massacre, in which a gunman killed 27 people before taking his own life, Obama has announced a new effort to find proposals that could potentially lead to legislation against gun violence. He appointed Vice President Joe Biden as the leader of the new commission.

In his video address Friday, Obama reiterated that he believes the Second Amendment guarantees a right to bear arms and acknowledged the country's "strong tradition of gun ownership that's been handed down from generation to generation."

However, Obama said "the vast majority of responsible, law-abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few from buying a weapon of war."

"I'm willing to bet that they don't think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas," he continued. "That an unbalanced man shouldn't be able to get his hands on a military-style assault rifle so easily."

The video was released hours before the National Rifle Association held a press conference, where the pro-gun rights group called for an armed guard to be placed in every school.

– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: Gun rights • President Obama
soundoff (187 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniels

    We need more gun control, more police oficers everywhere, and less republicans in the ofice, especialy these "Tea-potties"!

    December 21, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. Sanity in Arizona

    Something to think about! The second amendment was adopted in the time of single shot muzzle loaders which take about 25 seconds to reload between shots. They could not imagine an Uzi.

    December 21, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. lindsey

    banning assault weapons, in my opinion isn't the answer. if someone wants to do harm with a gun, they will find ways to get them somehow. just look at columbine as a perfect example.....the boys went to a gun show to buy weapons, but since they couldn't they recruited someone, unwittingly, who COULD......i don't think disarmament is the answer. we need better mental illness awareness first....then we need to look at who his parents are REALLY connected to behind the scenes......that might shed some light on the issue......were his parents connected to the gov. somehow? and if so, then they must have pissed someone off enough......just a thought and theory.......

    December 21, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. Keith Schlesinger

    Everytime he talks he just sounds dumber and dumber. So sad his our leader.

    December 21, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. Rush

    For all you gun nuts saying the President of the United States ought to shut up: It ain't gonna happen. We won't let him or ANY of our elected representatives let this go. And if you oppose common since gun controls that YOU are an accomplish to Newtown and the 20 dead 6 & 7 year-olds who lost their lives...to your twisted views of the world. But you only know what you hear on Fox news.

    December 21, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. Congressional Hypocrisy

    The republican party (= "The American Taliban") is attacking the middle class from all angles, literally.

    December 21, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    "THis isn't a gun problem–its a mental health issue........getting rid of the guns will NOT solve this problem."

    How exactly will keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill NOT by banning the availability of certain guns NOT solve this problem?

    December 21, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. Ellis Island

    Amen!

    December 21, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. plain&simple

    We only need the will and desire to make this situation better and the determination to follow through. Staying the same is not the answer!!!

    December 21, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  10. Data Driven

    "A semi-automatic AR-15 is NOT military grade. The M16s the military uses aren't even fully automatic anymore. They're three-round burst or semi-auto. You have a selection on the side of the weapon."

    I bow to your superior knowledge of gun minutiae, and for your ability to miss the forest for the trees. I mean, thank goodness the M16s aren't "FULLY automatic" anymore - totally safe now! And I'm sure our resident psychos will appreciate that they can use the much more prudent "three-round burst" instead of the "semi-auto" option on their AR-15s. Finally, since these weapons aren't "military grade" and therefore don't require a license, that means they can't kill very many people if a psycho goes on a rampage.

    I'm sorry that I fear-mongered.

    December 21, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  11. rick from Texas

    "When facsism comes to America it will be wraped in the flag carrying a cross" Sinclair Lewis
    The fascist corporate gun companies will be having the NRA working over time on this one with patriotic slogans and 2nd Amendment drivel. It is unconsionalble that not one Republican elected official will make a stand "until the NRA speaks" This party that is run by outside organizations(Grover Norquist) rather than the people that elected them is out of hand and damn scary. Get a backbone and remind yourself you live in a democracy where compromise and majority rule is required.

    December 21, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. Of course!

    More photo / teleprompter ops for The Clueless One (Obama). Never lets one go to waste!

    December 21, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. John

    ok, pistols kill 35 persons each person killed by all rifles combined (hunting, target and assault). this school shooting woudl have done MORE damage if carried out by a pistol which is even easier to conceal.

    December 21, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. Bermille

    Until we have a democratic House, such laws will be difficult to pass.

    December 21, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. Rob

    Can't legislation be modeled after something like getting a drivers license: do you have insurance, vehicle must be registered, must get your license updated annualy, can only use certain calber of ammunition, no eyesight/physical impairments that affect your ability to operate. Both sides have got to come together on this. Personally I would give up my arms if it meant that children should never be slaughtered in a school or classroom again. The right to bear arms was coined back when few could afford to own weapons that relied on black powder and lead balls, and then nation wasn't spending 4 trillion a year to protect it's citizens against foreign invaders.

    December 21, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. FishtownYo

    Basically, NRA will stand by the man and gun and against the children.

    December 21, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    The NRA needs to be eliminated by federal order or by any means necessary. However, unless deadly assault weapons are outlawed in our society IMMEDIATELY, as a concerned citizen I urge congress to make it mandatory for every elementary, middle, high school, college and university and shopping mall in America to have a SWAT team on duty or at least two armed guards. Right now we have over two hundred Iraqi and Afghan war veterans who have returned home from combat and many of them don't have jobs. I believe that it would be worthwhile to put some or all of these veterans back to work, safeguarding NOT a foreign land or some abusive King or warlord but here home defending their own country and protecting their own citizens. I urge congress to act NOW.

    December 21, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    Anyone who doesn't think America has a gun problem probably has issues of their own requiring, well ... much needed medical attention.

    December 21, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. Shawn in MD

    Peach (Said):

    THis isn't a gun problem–its a mental health issue........getting rid of the guns will NOT solve this problem.

    =========================================

    Ever wonder how many would have died in that elementary school if this guy had a sword instead of the gun? one? maybe two? How will getting rid of guns NOT solve the problem?

    December 21, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. sonny chapman

    Attention All New Mental Health Advocates: Your newly found understanding of what effect neglecting one part of Society can have on ALL of us is encouraging; however, you must now take that understanding one step further. It takes TAXES & GOVERNMENT to handle this problem is some kind of meaningful fashion. Just as Jesus said you can't choose mammon AND God, you can't espouse the mantra of the Tea Party & support the Mental Health aspect of this issue.

    December 21, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. myviewis

    Rudy NYC – just give up your anti-police officer attitude. A police officer in every school will do way more than a bunch of new laws against guns. Even if guns were prohibited a criminal would find a way to get a hold of a gun, thus the person is a criminal.

    How can you be against having police officers taking care of schools??????????

    December 21, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. Stealy Dan

    Tell me more about how criminals will obey your new gun laws.

    December 21, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. Stephen in VA

    Amazing how so many people have more fear of someone taking away their right to buy semiautomatic military-style rifles than they do of someone using one to gun down more kids at a school.

    December 21, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. Rudy NYC

    I guess the left has yet another definition for GOP, Guns Over People.

    December 21, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. Wise1Speak

    LET THE RECORD SHOW THE PRESIDENT HAS NO CHOICE . . .

    President Obama never went looking to institute new assault weapons restrictions. On the contrary, he expanded gun rights by allowing guns to be carried into National Parks.

    However, President Obama is a realist and pragmatic. After the nation witness the horror 20 babies & 6 women lined up and sprayed with bullets from a military-styled assault weapon, the President was left with little choice but to look for ways to protect children from wackos that have gone mad with high-capacity assault weapons.

    December 21, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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