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. AnotherPointOfView

    Mr. President, I am one of the Independent voters in Virginia who helped elect you twice. There are many like me.

    We would like to make it clear that you were elected because the Republicans are nuts. They ask for freedom but refuse to give it to those they disagree with. Example: gays who want to get married. They put people like Sarah Palin and Eric Cantor, and Paul Ryan in positions of power.

    I like you. I was drawn to you early on. I remember a speech you gave about violence. You said there is a "hole in that child's soul" that taking the guns away won't heal. It still won't. You were elected with the understanding that gun control was off the table. You can't have my rifle.

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

    Hi five Gary from alberta lol

    December 21, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    @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 |
    *****************************************************************************************************************************
    No. What's funny is the GOP's continued state of denial about the fact that the majority of the country voted against its ideology in 2008 and again in 2012. Your side lost. Get over it.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2008-2016

    December 21, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    Looks like the NRA is all for a Police Stare - or a Military Sfate, backed by the republicans.

    And you folks are so worried about liberals. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    December 21, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. Wilson

    For quite awhile now, I've read the "comments" on various issues and have noticed that the left/socialist responders have used many of the same phrases, e.g., extreme GOP, Tea Party, election mandate, etc. It's an old saying that if you repeat a fabrication or propoganda phrase often enough, it soon becomes the truth. I now firmly believe that the Democratic/Socialist party pays people to visit current event news sites, and provides them with the "script" to demonize the opposition. I hope the Republican Party has learned from this and does the same. Oops, Republicans have jobs and are unavailable from 6am to 8pm. Darn!!

    December 21, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. Fair is Fair

    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.
    ------
    Wow... got a plan for the "Jewish Problem" too?

    December 21, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. KimH

    Time to ban drones:
    figures published by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an independent organization based at City University in London.

    "TBIJ reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562 – 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 – 881 were civilians, including 176 children. TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228 – 1,362 individuals," according to the Stanford/NYU study.

    December 21, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. Dave

    You better hear both sides then. It will be wise to.

    December 21, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. FLA

    v_mag – Sounds like a good plan but try to take people's existing legal guns and there will be blood in the streets, it's just not a viable option.

    December 21, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. Newcomer181

    Banning Semi-autos WILL do NOTHING good. It's a utopian's fantasy.

    December 21, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. v_mag

    KE6522 said: "If a lunatic wants to get an assault rifle, he will. NO "law" will stop him."
    ----
    Aren't there lunatics in England that would like to get hold of an assault rifle? They don't, because in England, they can't. The "law" stops them.

    December 21, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. v_mag

    Charlie Daniels said: "The point is that the AR used is no different than any other weapon"
    -–
    By your logic, a 20 megaton nuclear weapon is no different than a .22 pistol. In fact, a weapon that can kill 30 people in under 30 seconds IS VERY DIFFERENT from a shotgun that holds 3 rounds and takes a minute to reload.

    And it won't hurt anybody to give up their assault weapons, since by your logic, an assault rifle is just the same as a shotgun. Why not just have the shotgun?

    December 21, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. You guys kill me....

    I personally have numerous guns.....matter of fact, I have so many that the wife gets mad at them being behind doors and such ( and yes I have gun safes..but they are full) Now...with that said....some of these guns I have purchased, but most have been passed down by Family members who the good loard has called home. I want everyone to know one simple thing....Ban the assault Weapons...go for it....you know why, the most deversating weapon in my home....is a 12 Gauge Handle Grip Pump....and 30 Feet, i can do mosr damage then any Semi-Automatic Gun....so do you really think, that this is about a AR series Semi-Automatic Rifle. Oh....and remember Charles Joseph Whitman, a student at the University of Texas...who killed 13 people and wounded 32 others. With a bolt Action rifle. Yea...it's about Assault rifles....

    December 21, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. SeeThruIt2

    "...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 think the Occupy Wall Street people were considered a " law-breaking few " in that they were in the public parks after hours. So, let's make sure they're the first ones denied gun permits.

    December 21, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. v_mag

    Stealy Dan said: "Tell me more about how criminals will obey your new gun laws."
    ---–
    Thank you for asking. You see, the semi-automatic weapons will not be available for sale. They will be bought back and put in the crusher. Anyone who retains one will be subject to 10 years in prison if it is discovered. So, criminals will obey the law because no assault weapons will be available.

    See how easy that is? Just like they do it in England and the many other more progressive and less insane places than the U.S.

    December 21, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  16. peace love happiness

    I propose that the only people who can buy military assault weapons are only those who have been trained in the military, and are willing to follow up with yearly training. Switzerland and Israel are also very weaponized nations, but both those countries have a COMPULSORY military service for all males over the age of 18. Weapons are distributed to those males who have completed their military training. Continued yearly military training is also COMPULSORY (that means you HAVE TO). So, sure, a person can keep an asault weapon in their home if they have had adequate military training. I have no problem with that.

    December 21, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. Wilson

    @SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    @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 |
    *****************************************************************************************************************************
    No. What's funny is the GOP's continued state of denial about the fact that the majority of the country voted against its ideology in 2008 and again in 2012. Your side lost. Get over it.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2008-2016
    ------------------------------------
    Thank you for helping prove the accuracy of my point.

    December 21, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. v_mag

    FLA said: "v_mag – Sounds like a good plan but try to take people's existing legal guns and there will be blood in the streets, it's just not a viable option."
    --
    My answer to that is that people who are in love with assault weapons, to the point that they care nothing for the lives of the children who die by them, are full of chicken crap. Therefore, they will cringe and cower when someone comes for their murder weapons. The NRA people are paranoid cowards and bullies. They will not risk death or going to jail, especially when they are placated by leaving them a shotgun or two.

    December 21, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    KimH wrote:

    Time to ban drones:
    figures published by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an independent organization based at City University in London.

    "TBIJ reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562 – 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 – 881 were civilians, including 176 children. TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228 – 1,362 individuals," according to the Stanford/NYU study.
    --------------------
    Unfortunately, the NRA would say give drones to the Pakistanis.

    December 21, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. randy

    i will not be satisfied with just a semi-automatic weapons ban i want all of them out of public hands

    December 21, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. Data Driven

    "You can't have my rifle."

    Well, if it's a "bolt action" rifle then you should rest easy, because according to "You Guys Kill Me" they're more deadly than what is commonly understood as an assault rifle, anyway. And no one is talking about bolt action guns being "on the table".

    If you have an M-16 or an Uzi, though, I would suggest that that's overkill and that you don't need such a weapon to hunt with or to protect your home with. What if someone steals such a weapon of mass destruction?

    December 21, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. Outsidethebox

    The ONLY difference between a plain old semi-automatic hunting rifle and what everybody is calling a "military-style" assault rifle is COSMETICS. The inner workings are exactly the same... one shot for each pull of the trigger... Most hunting rifles (or shotguns for that matter) have clips that hold 5 or 6 bullets. The "military-style" weapons can have clips that hold upwards of 30+ bullets. Just because a rifle LOOKS like it's a military weapon does not mean that it is a fully automatic machine gun... Everyone is throwing around the term "military-style" assault weapons like these fully automatic machine guns are readily available at any gun store in the nation... The TRUTH of the matter is that they are NOT the same, and those who don't know any better take the term or photos at face value because it "sounds or looks scary".

    Point is that banning semi-automatic weapons because they "look" like a military style weapon is beyond ridiculous... People need to stop being afraid of guns and start being educated on them... What about banning the clips that hold excessive amounts of ammo? Nobody needs a clip that holds 30+ rounds.

    Law-abiding and responsible gun owners aren't the problem. Shouldn't a person who owns weapons and then leaves them out in the open for anybody to grab be held partly responsible? Most responsible gun owners keep their weapons locked up or have trigger locks on them so nobody can steal or use them.

    December 21, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. guest

    How many unarmed Americans have been slaughtered by their own government in the last 100 years? Zero you say...I wonder why that is? How many Europeans? How many Asians and Africans? Anti-Gun forces are well meaning but ignorant. Pick up a history book, for goodness sake.

    December 21, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    -Wilson

    For quite awhile now, I've read the "comments" on various issues and have noticed that the left/socialist responders have used many of the same phrases, e.g., extreme GOP, Tea Party, election mandate, etc. It's an old saying that if you repeat a fabrication or propoganda phrase often enough, it soon becomes the truth. I now firmly believe that the Democratic/Socialist party pays people to visit current event news sites, and provides them with the "script" to demonize the opposition. I hope the Republican Party has learned from this and does the same. Oops, Republicans have jobs and are unavailable from 6am to 8pm. Darn!!
    *********************************************************
    Obviously you have plenty of time on your hands as well. If you are commenting on a script, let's see, libtards, socialists, liberalism is a mental disorder: those are the catch phrases that are sprinkled liberally throughout your posts and those of the rest of the deniers that inhabit the right wing. The people that think tax cuts don't need to be paid for, the ones who assume the Left is filled with leeches, yet complain about Hollywood millionaires. Just so we are clear, I have a brand new house that I was able to get through my own sweat. I am a Boy Scount leader, and I have earned a sharpshooter rating from the NRA. I am well-educated, with 2 degrees, and a successful, well-paid porfessional dealing with industries all over this great country. I am also a liberal, since I know that everything I have worked for could disappear in an afternoon, and I could be left with nothing. A conservative is a person who has let their greed cloud their sense of reality and compassion. You are the parrot, sir, not us. We think, you chant. You look at things as they are and say " Oh well, can't change it": I make the impossible happen, and have fun doing it. That is the difference between us, your fantasy, and reality.

    December 21, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. Charlie Daniels

    V-Mag...My AR is for coyotes and ground hogs. My shotgun is a 4+1 without the limiter son and trust me that if it takes you a minute to reload you clearly would not have made it out of the situation and have had the man love you deserve. The shotgun is just as effective in the situation and all guns have their purpose outside of the home. Why are people speaking of guns when they do not have a clue.

    Again, misinformed libs.

    December 21, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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