Obama on background checks: 'Practical progress' on gun violence
April 3rd, 2013
03:04 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama on background checks: 'Practical progress' on gun violence

(CNN) - Obama will continue his call for gun violence legislation on Wednesday, including expanding the scope of background checks, at the Denver Police Academy.

The academy is located just miles from the Aurora movie theater where 12 people were killed and 58 wounded in a mass shooting in July.

The White House released these excerpts of his remarks, which are expected to begin around 5 p.m. ET:

"From the beginning of this effort, we've wanted law enforcement front and center in shaping the discussion and the reforms that emerge from it. After all, you're often the first to see the terrible consequences of gun violence – lives lost; families broken; communities irrevocably changed. You know what works and what doesn't, and we wanted that experience and that advice. And I've come here to Denver today because Colorado in particular is proving a model for what's possible.

"It's now been just over 100 days since the murder of 20 innocent children and six brave educators in Newtown, Connecticut shocked this country into doing something to protect our kids. But consider this: over those 100 days or so, more than 100 times as many Americans have fallen victim to gun violence. More than 2,000 of our fellow citizens, struck down, often just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. And every day we wait to do something about it, even more are stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

"Colorado has already chosen to do something about it. This is, obviously, a state that has suffered the tragedy of two of the worst mass shootings in our history – 14 years ago this month in Columbine, and just last year in Aurora. This is also a state that treasures its Second Amendment rights – a state of proud hunters and sportsmen, with a strong tradition of gun ownership that's handed down from generation to generation with reverence and respect.

"I'm here because I believe there's no conflict between reconciling these realities. There doesn't have to be a conflict between protecting our citizens and protecting our Second Amendment rights. I've gotten stacks of letters from proud gun owners, whether they're for sport, or protection, or collection, who tell me how deeply they cherish their rights, and don't want them infringed upon – but they still want us to do something to stop the epidemic of gun violence.

"I appreciate every one of those letters. I've learned from them. And I think that Colorado has shown that practical progress is possible by enacting tougher background checks that won't infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners, but will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people."


Filed under: Colorado • Gun control • Gun rights • President Obama
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. just askin

    why isn't obama asking for the national registration of all mentally ill people? that was the commonality in all these shootings. the guns didn't jump up and start shooting on their own. mentally deranged people got their hands on them. so far none of obama's, or anybody elses, proposals would alter what happened. they are just using these tragedies yet agan to further attack and erode the 2nd amendment. death by a thousand cuts until it is no more. that is their plan.

    April 3, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. Guest

    So why does he never mention going after criminals, gangs, etc or securing the border? Oh thats right, dont want to target the democratic base.

    April 3, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. catmomtx

    Oh for goodness sakes, how about just getting insurance companies to pay for treatment instead. How about states set up more facilities and programs to treat the mentally ill, that would certainly help.

    April 3, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    "why isn't obama asking for the national registration of all mentally ill people?"
    ------------------------------------------–
    Because that will violate this law that we have called HIPAA. Duh!

    April 3, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Mr. President. You pointed and that "they deserve a vote." Ask Sen. Reid to put as many votes on the Senate floor, and let the Republicans vote them down, falling short of the 60 votes needed for a final vote. Let them build their NRA scores. Let 'em do it.

    April 3, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. don in albuquerque

    @just askin, No what their plan is, is to have all the 2nd amendment looneytunes post on sites like this so they can get their email address, track them down, and send in the drones.

    April 3, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. sonny chapman

    I wonder if the Gun Nuts can hear that Obama is ACTUALLY saying that the rights of hunters & sane gun owners are NOT going to lose their guns ? Fear blocks the ears & mind. No one has EVER said anything about CONFISCATION. Everyone knows that will NEVER be the law in America. We can't even go back, politically, to where we were in 1994, when we had the Assault Rifle Ban.

    April 3, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Donna

    Rudy NYC
    Mr. President. You pointed and that "they deserve a vote." Ask Sen. Reid to put as many votes on the Senate floor, and let the Republicans vote them down, falling short of the 60 votes needed for a final vote. Let them build their NRA scores. Let 'em do it.
    -------

    YES!! PLEASE do this!! There are FAR more red states than blue states. Republicans will clean up in the Senate in 2014. NINE red state Democrat Senators can kiss their Senate seat good bye. Trust me... gun owners vote and they do not forget.

    April 3, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. Fair is Fair

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    "why isn't obama asking for the national registration of all mentally ill people?"
    --------------–
    Because that will violate this law that we have called HIPAA. Duh!
    --------
    So will the disclosure of mental health records. Duh!

    April 3, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  10. just askin

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA
    "why isn't obama asking for the national registration of all mentally ill people?"
    --------------–
    Because that will violate this law that we have called HIPAA. Duh!
    ------–

    so change the law to allow it. if you were truly interested in solving the problem you would support and do that. background checks are useless unless all of the mentally ill are required to register as potentially dangerous people that cannot have guns or access to them.

    April 3, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. Guest

    at home and abroad...the liberal destruction of America is evident.

    April 3, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. Jenny

    Wow. For gorgeous apartments, check findmybuilding com

    April 3, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. Lady T

    @just askin Well in this instance we only care about the mentally ill that want to buy a gun. Which would be revealed in a background check if they have been diagnosed and decide to buy a guy. Problem is...most of the mass gun murderes were not necessarily diagnose previously ill prior to their acts...So idk what the right answer is...

    April 3, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. chill

    Without complete background check legislation, there is no wonder that the current system doesn't keep guns off the street. If you can go to a gun show and buy as many firearms as you want with out a check. If you can sell guns in private sales to felons and lunatics and abusers without a check. Then why go to a legit gun shop? All the NRA is doing is enabling these kind of people to get guns easily. Sure they could get them from other criminals on the street, but it shuts down one more source. We don't need perfection to make things better.

    April 3, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. 2012liberal

    3 friends shot and killed eachother outside a bar easter mrng. Kind of nixs the theory guns dont kill ppl, ppl kill ppl. Do u think if none of them had guns they would still b dead? So when does a good guy w a gun turn n2 a bad guy w a gun? Guns dont kill ppl, ppl w guns kill ppl.

    April 3, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Larry L

    @just askin
    "They are just using these tragedies yet agan to further attack and erode the 2nd amendment."
    ==================================================
    The 2nd Amendment does not define "a well-regulated militia" – certainly not to groups of "bubbas" who want to play Army. It does not say "arms" should not be restricted in any way – or citizens could own nukes. Most importantly, it does not give every fearful or angry red neck with a weapon the right to commit acts of sedition, terrorism, or attempt to overthrow the rightfully elected government of the United States. This last one means that terrorists (like Tim McVeigh) are not patriots and do not deserve praise for taking up "arms" against a government they feel to be "oppressive".

    April 3, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. 2012liberal

    And YES GUN BILLS DESERVE A VOTE! Not a filibuster on a floor vote. Rand Paul and others r threatening 2 filibuster a bill b4 it even gets 2 the floor. They r filibustering 2 not even have it heard! How's that filibuster thingy thing working 4 u Reid. We need a new dem speaker. U go Warren!

    April 3, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. Autumn

    I say go the way of Switzerland. Yes, they have very strict gun laws, and yes they check your mental health records. All men ages 20-30 are enlisted to have a gun/rifle. They don't have to keep it when they turn 30, but a lot of them do. Switzerland is a socialized country.....they don't have a military per se.....their young citizens are their militia in times of defense. Works pretty darn well for them. We need to ask that country for help/consultation on this matter.

    April 3, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Larry L

    @Donna
    "There are FAR more red states than blue states. Republicans will clean up in the Senate in 2014. NINE red state Democrat Senators can kiss their Senate seat good bye. Trust me... gun owners vote and they do not forget."
    ===============================
    The "red states" certainly didn't elect a President now did they? You would want Republican control of our government? A cut & spend economy? Suppression of voter rights? Every criminal with a gun? Ending all efforts to keep the environment clean and safe? Medicare and Social Security handed over to Wall Street? Senseless wars? The rights of women and minorities trashed? Jobs sent overseas? The middle-class destroyed? Accelerated global climate change? Why not just move to Somalia?

    April 3, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. ColdWarVet

    Background Checks would do nothing for what happened in CT or Colorado. All this is is feel good legislation. A criminal won't be able to buy a firearm legally....no kidding. LIke they ever do. Now do you think any mental health professional will be telling the government who is on anxiety or depression medication?

    April 3, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. sonnie3

    If this works, then confiscation will follow in time. Give government an inch and they will take a mile.
    Just look at what is recorded in History/ You end up with a dictator.
    His rules would only hinder the law abiding persons. and do nothing to keep the mentally challenged from using guns or what ever to go after easy targets as little school kids. And their unarmed teachers. Obamas kids are protected with gun and our should be also. That would curtail the problem. And obama know this but is flying crap all over with the events of Sandy Hook to push his agenda to gut or get rid of the Second Amendment that his swore to uphold??

    April 3, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. Rick McDaniel

    Dictatorial progress, at best.

    April 3, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. sammy750

    The NRA, Republicans and Democrats law makers must be proud of not passing any gun laws yet. In the mean time law enforcer are being killed. It is amazing the NRA has the power to block any gun laws, no matter what they may be. We, the voter, must defeat and elect lawmakers who have the guts to stand against lobbyist. We cannot continue as a nation with the WEAK congress and senate that are in place now. They are doing nothing. Yet on another RECESS this week, while people are getting murdered. When will the voter wake up to the fact that law makers are in office to become millionaire and care less about this nation and the people

    April 3, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. sammy750

    The few radicals and extremist supporting the NRA should not have the power to stop any bills from passing. These few are evil and shouldn't have a voice in what the majority of the people want.

    April 3, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  25. James Bond

    Now larry, donna will be the first to inform you all those things are obamas fault, i dont think she has the mental capacity to acccept anything less, she thinks because we have a deficit problem that it belongs to the current admin. reality certainly is not her strong suit

    April 3, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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