Obama responds to petitions against gun violence
December 21st, 2012
09:24 AM ET
6 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. Gary

    Well, I used to beleive that common sense would prevail in the US after this latest shooting of young children. But, I guess all of the brain cells of the NRA have been used up years ago. The mere suggestion to put an armed guard at every school is ludicrous and moronic. America has to stand up now and do something with a little intelligence. If some form of controls on those assault weapons doesn't happen, well, America, you deserve what you get.
    The answer to gun voilence is NOT more guns. Glad to be a Canadian,eh!

    December 21, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. NDLily

    You know how when you go to the pharmacy and you want a box of Sudafed or Claritan you have to go up to the actual counter itself and stand in line because SOME people used it to make Meth, or when you go to buy a bottle of wine, even if you are as wrinkled as a raisin, can remember the _real_ Great Depression, and have hair so white it's blinding, you still have to show I.D. to control underage drinking. I'm sure glad that all of us common law-abiding citizens have to go through that because it's almost eradicated the making and using of Meth and teenagers who get drunk. Get my point?

    Gun laws aren't going to help with gun violence, and banning guns will just leave a group of very inventive people searching online for how to make a bomb (which will up the body count considerably). The illness is a societal one, a society that is immune to violence (we have a book and movie series for children, the plot of which is solely surrounding kids killing kids and it makes a mint and doesn't cause a stir, read the Hunger Games), then your society is rotten at the core and no matter how many ways you remove of expressing that sickness, the people will always find one more.

    December 21, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. Enough BS

    If everyone is so worried about protecting ourselves from the government you have a much more powerful weapon than a gun. It's called voting.


    Yeah Hitler was elected.. then he confiscated the guns. no more elections, no more voting.

    December 21, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    Gun control ilaw is right for this nation...

    December 21, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Enough BS

    @Rudy in NYC... in colonial times the word regulate meant to 'train' as in perfect their marksmanship. Which incidentlayy the Supreme Court cited in their recent ruling.

    December 21, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. Rev. J.C.

    Some American civilians' obsession and fascination with military-grade firearms and media violence is a pathology, a deep-core spiritual sickness, NOT a defense of the 2nd Amendment or of "freedom."

    December 21, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. clarke

    He is talking about guns here and safety, He is not talking about removing your arms and legs.

    December 21, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. v_mag

    The NRA should take a different tack. "We need more guns" is not working.

    I have a suggestion that is just as logical: We need more bat crap crazy gun nuts! That's right! Hire a certified lunatic for every school. That way, when the armed lunatic shows up, he will be met by one of his own kind.

    December 21, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. carlos

    The Liberal hate machine is on full throttle. Time to continue to berate and demonize those with whom you don't agree.

    Name calling will solve nothing. Meaningless bans will solve nothing. Why do you think the killings are so prevelant in cities with tight gun control and bad people? Hint, bad people won't follow the law anyway. Those types of laws only disarm the people that don't pose a threat in the first place.

    Now, if you could wave your magic feel-good wand and make all guns and the ability to make guns disappear, then that might work. Otherwise, the only real option is to fight fire with fire, so to speak. Why do you think cops carry guns?

    December 21, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  10. manhandler1

    So, "Kev," let me tell you how laws banning assault weapons would have probably prevented what happened here. The kid's Mother was, by all accounts a law abiding woman, And had there been a law against owning one of these weapons and the the magazine that went with it, she would not have had one. Of course, gun nuts would rather go on blathering their mindless drivel.

    December 21, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. v_mag

    Here is my gun control plan:

    1. Declare the NRA a terrorist organization, which should be pretty self-evident. That gets rid of a large lobbying organization, which should make everyone happy and helps clean up our electoral system.
    2. Disband the NRA and seize their assets.
    3. Outlaw semi-auto weapons and large clips and use those NRA assets to buy back the weapons that are now in private hands.
    4. At the end of the buy back period, a law goes into effect that prescribes a 10 prison sentence for anyone found in possession of a semi-automatic weapon or large clip.
    5. Enforce the law.

    December 21, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. Charlie Daniels

    I agree a vote is a powerful weapon, but I do believe that it is clear that it can be much more dangerous than a gun. Look who's in the whitehouse. How about we do background checks, psychological exams, and verify the voter is educated on what they are voting for i.e. informed.

    December 21, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. KE6522

    This is just ridiculous. If a lunatic wants to get an assault rifle, he will. NO "law" will stop him. Leave my rights alone! Blame the PERSON for once!!!!

    December 21, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. adampeart

    If you care for the children BAN SWIMMING POOLS! Someone has to do something about these swimming pools! 350 children under the age of 5 die every year in this country due to swimming pools! It's an epidemic that must be stopped! The government needs to put guards in the backyard of everyone who has a swimming pool at tax payer expense! And don't even try to blame the irresponsibility of the parent, or the actions of individuals because we all know it's the swimming pools that are to blame! There are too many swimming pools on the streets of America, threatening our children everyday! America is insane! There are swimming pools everywhere! And they're not even registered with the state! And can you believe people can get swimming pools without a background check? The swimming pools are permeating our culture and destroying children's and families' lives! The problem with swimming pools is so bad that kids are even finding them in their schools and public recreation facilities! It's easier for kids to get access to swimming pools than it is to get pot! We need a billion dollar federal commission to study swimming pools and genius politicians to find a law that will make sure no one will ever drown again! It's for the children! The proliferation of swimming pools in this country must stop! Now! Save us from the swimming pools Obama and Congress! Please! Think of the kids!(Don't worry about those brown ones in mud huts though, they don't have swimming pools.... you can still drone bomb the crap out of them, we don't mind.)

    December 21, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. me

    I must say that regardless of the gun lobbyist and the cranks that feel they need an M-16 to protect their belomgings, or an M-40 grenade launcher. Their are many people who have and suffer from mental disabilities and if they do not take their medications can be a danger to themselves and others around them. There are more people in America that do function well and are closely intergrated into society and don't want to be stuck with the tag "killer" at this time I think that it is prudent of everyone that people who suffer from these disabilities are monitored in a better fashion and when doctors presribe these drugs perhaps law inforcement agencies be notified. I dislike the idea of stygmatizing anyone, but this can't be allowed to continue to happen.

    Just a thought

    December 21, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. KE6522

    No law will prevent a lunatic from obtaining a weapon.

    December 21, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. yogi

    The NRA does not belong in civilization.The NRA's only motto is: The more guns the better! The NRA is an obscene organization, they don't care about the unimaginable violence we are facing on a daily basis. The NRA does have blood on their hands. The second amendment and the mental illnesses are a screen the NRA's cowards are hiding behind.

    December 21, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. POV

    Stop manufacturing, sales and import of assault weapons. Obama should take a stronger stance.

    December 21, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. BigBearCarolina

    Taking away a person's right to self-defense will make them safer? How can anyone with a hint of intelligence think that this makes sense? What a gutless, cowardly, impotent country we have become when the irrational makes sense because we are so afraid. Criminals don't care about the laws, no matter how many you make. What the President and his idiot cronies are suggesting will let the criminals take over. He is leading the sheep to the slaughter.

    December 21, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. Wilson

    Funny, liberals (supposedly anti-violence) are calling for "shooting" all NRA members. Hmmmmm, and the left wonders why nobody trusts them and they have no credibility with people that think for themselves.

    December 21, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  21. chupacabra

    I voted for Obama,but by the time you read this I will have joined the NRA, you extreme lefty's are getting sickning, goodby democrats,republicans here I come!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 21, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    My career has taken me many places. I once traveled to what was then the Soviet Union. This suggestion of armed guards reminds me of that experience. I was awe struck by the number of armed guys standing around, literally like stop signs. There was one almost every corner, which meant that at a street intersection there were four of them, each located at the ordinal points of a compass. When you went too far from the hotel, a guy would spread his feet, drop is weapon butt-first to the ground, "Nyet!" Turn around and go back. I was told that their presence was meant to insure the we foreigners were not interfered with, touching off an international incident. There were there for my protection and others with me.

    Suggesting armed guards at schools would be an initial major leap in that direction for our society.

    December 21, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. yogi

    May be time to empty your mind from excessive water?

    December 21, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Charlie Daniels

    I agree a vote is a powerful weapon, but I do believe that it is clear that it can be much more dangerous than a gun. Look who's in the whitehouse. How about we do background checks, psychological exams, and verify the voter is educated on what they are voting for i.e. informed.
    "Sorry, Charlie." That has already been tried and outlawed.

    December 21, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. Data Driven

    Carlos, maybe some on my side of the debate are calling those on your side of the debate names; I won't be one of them. I'm merely asking you folks to apply your arguments about the meaninglessness of assault weapons bans to laws against the law against committing murder.

    People still commit murder, so why do we have laws against murder?

    Doesn't make a whole lot of sense, does it? Laws and punishments for breaking those laws serve the purposes of deterrence and justice. Can you explain why an assault weapons ban wouldn't serve those same purposes?

    December 21, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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