Obama to resume gun control push in Colorado, Connecticut
April 2nd, 2013
04:55 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama to resume gun control push in Colorado, Connecticut

(CNN) - When President Barack Obama visited last July with victims of the Aurora, Colorado movie theater massacre, he expressed hope that "over the next several days, next several weeks, and next several months, we all reflect on how we can do something about some of the senseless violence that ends up marring this country."

The president repeated that call after the December elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, and has taken that message on the road in a series of events in places around the country touched by gun violence.

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Obama will continue calling for gun violence legislation on Wednesday when he speaks at the Denver Police Academy, the White House said. The academy is not far from the Aurora theater.

This week's event will be followed by another in Hartford, Connecticut on Monday as the White House spokesman says the president remains as committed as immediately after the tragedies to take action.

"He believes that that passion, that urgency still exists around the country and it still exists if not in full, then in part in Washington and that is why he is continuing to make the case," press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday. "Negotiations and conversations continue to take place and it is essential that Congress act and essential that it take action."

Recent polls have indicated that the public isn't as keen on major gun restrictions as immediately after the December elementary school shooting. The CNN/ORC poll from mid-March showed support for major gun restrictions or outlawing all guns dropped to 43% from 52% in a December survey.

But the polling tells a second story: a high level of support for requiring a background check on every gun sale. The most recent survey, from CBS News, found nine of ten Americans supported universal background checks, including 96% of Democrats, 86% of Republicans and 89% of independents. Other March surveys have put that number at 85% or above.

In Colorado, Obama is expected to meet with law enforcement and community leaders from the area.

The state recently adopted several strict gun laws that will take effect July 1, including adopting universal background checks and a 15-round limit on gun magazine size.

Connecticut has also tightened its gun laws since the December shooting.

Expanding the scope of background checks has been the focus of federal legislation, including the bill Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to bring up this month.

That measure already has a filibuster threat from several conservative members. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has not joined the group threatening a filibuster, said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union with Candy Crowley" that "legislation is going nowhere."

"This idea of private individuals transferring their weapons and having to go through a background check makes no sense," he said. "But I would like to have a robust debate about improving the system to make sure that people who are mentally ill do not get a gun, to begin with. And there's a lot we can do on a bipartisan basis."

A universal requirement for background checks, opponents say, would unnecessarily require firearm transfers on such innocent handoffs such as between family members. Many say the current focus should be on improving the current system's record-keeping or insuring individuals with mental health issues are included in the database.

But proponents say the so-called gun show loophole means as many as 40% of gun sales are not subject to the type of background check which could keep firearms out of the hands of criminals. Some reject requiring gun sellers to keep records of the background checks they conduct.

The National School Shield Project of the National Rifle Association unveiled on Tuesday its plan for improving school safety which included training and arming adults to decrease response time to a shooting incident. The NRA tasked the panel with developing recommendations in reaction to the Newtown shooting.

The group did not include gun restrictions such as background checks in their review.

At the White House, Carney underscored the Obama administration's committment to such legislation.

"If it were simple to pass measures through Congress that are very common sense but would reduce gun violence in America, those measures would have passed already," he said. "The goal of those, like the president, who are trying to improve the system is to close loopholes within it that make it imperfect, that allow those who should not obtain weapons to obtain them.

"And this is something we're working on very closely with members of both parties, and that's why the president is going to Denver, that's why the president is going to Hartford."

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Don't let up the pressure Mr. President. Keep on pushing. The gun lobby is not as strong as they think they are.

    April 2, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. UsGotRights

    Unbelievable current events, US warships and jets move into position in case of a nuclear attack from America's enemies, Communist China mobilizing troops and jets near the North Korean Communist border. North Korea tests a nuclear weapon larger than ever before then reopens nuclear reactor ramping up its uranium enrichment program while threatening the US with nuclear war. U.N. Secretary-General says North Korea's nuclear threats are not a game and current crisis has gone too far as the UN passes global arms trade treaty. Russian orders an unexpected military exercise involving dozens of ships and thousands of troops in the Black Sea. The President of the United States says Iran “year or so” away from nuclear bomb. Cities in the US are going bankrupt, America borrows money from China then the White House demands China stop hacking US companies and turns around and gives the borrowed moneys from China along with Americans best arms, tanks and fighter jets to a country that refers America as an enemy. At the same time the US moves to pass laws to disarm its citizens. Meanwhile there's talks of arming the so call rebels in Syria that may have used chemical weapons with free assault rifles with large ammo capacity magazines and news reports that the terrorists/rebels groups seized approximately 20,000 Stinger-style/shoulder-launched missiles are missing from Libya including the SA-24 which is more accurate, longer-flying, and more lethal than earlier models of surface-to-air missiles. It also has a dual-band infrared seeker and is more difficult to jam than older systems, do to this negligence not securing these missiles now passenger aircraft need to be equipped with a missile defense systems costing billions in borrowed Chinese money, what kind of background check did the so call rebels get? It's like a 1940's horror film, what’s next the resurrection of Hitler. Beware of the domino effect that could lead to World War 3, as American's stand around disarmed & helpless.

    April 2, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. Neal B.

    He needs to start in Chicago and try to fix that gun problem first.

    April 2, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. rs

    What the NRA and their lackies in the GOP don't get is that 90% of Americans want this issue dealt with. More than 3,000 Americans have been killed by guns since Newtown. The GOP will lose votes by ingoring what citizens want. Once they are out of business, the NRA is really just out of luck. If they keep making boneheaded recommendations (like arming teachers), or harrassing Newtown parents they get what they deserve- to be driven out of business and portreyed as the radical nutcases they really are.

    April 2, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. Guy

    While he is in Colorado he can say goodbye to Magpul and when gets Connecticut he can bid Colt, adieu. They will both be gone soon.

    April 2, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Beware of the domino effect that could lead to World War 3, as American's stand around disarmed & helpless."

    You enjoy yourself hiding under the bed. I'm gonna go has ice cream and catch a show.

    April 2, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. PJ

    "The National School Shield Project of the National Rifle Association unveiled on Tuesday its plan to improve school
    safety...........to decrease response time to a shooting incident".
    The "armed adults" had better be in the right place at the right time. The Sandy Hook shooter got off 155 bullets
    in 5 minutes.
    According to the "task force", which was purportedly done "independently of the NRA" (yeah, right),
    AR-15s would be appropriate weapons for these people.
    So, lets send Lindsay Graham to one of these schools. He luvs his AR-15.
    We could send Cruz, Paul, Lee and Rubio, after they filibuster any laws regarding gun control.
    This "report" brings up more questions, than offers solutions.
    But, where there is life there is hope. So, good luck Mr. President.

    April 2, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. Calidip

    No AWB 2013. No federal gun registry. No magazine restrictions. No more infringements. The American people have spoken.

    April 2, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. Catmandew

    With the long list of more pressing matters I believe the president really has other things needing his attention. More people have died in car accidents since Sandy Hook than have been shot, more people have died from cancer since then also. And more than likely more folks have starved since then too. This list could go on for quite awhile but I really don't feel like typing all the rest of it. Sandy Hook was a tragedy we get that but we have many other things to worry about spending taxpayer money to cart Obama all over the country to push his agenda seems a waste. It won't bring those kids back and still too early to do anything constructive to solve the problem.

    April 2, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. Gurgyl

    We need Gun-Ban was. Very desperately.

    April 2, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  11. bud

    new back ground checks is like having a car that don't run and instead of spending the money to fix it buying a nother car that don't run ether

    April 2, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  12. Wes

    This guy is in way over his head.

    April 2, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  13. Steve- Illinois

    Fix the background check system first, then expand it. 10's of thousands were denied gun purchases in a single year. 44 were prosecuted. Should 100's of thousands be denied their rights, to catch 40, 50, 100 criminals? Or are we not prosecuting a huge majority of those breaking the law? If not, then it isn't much of a deterrent to a criminal, now, is it?
    What good does it do to expand it, if states aren't required, and forced, to submit the information? Especially the info on the mentally ill.
    Common sense.

    April 2, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  14. Wes

    Why does the uhbama hate America so much?

    April 2, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  15. fernace

    Most of the worlds high livingstandards nations are gun free or have strict control! They seem to be living in very low criminal violence societies, compared to us! 1 reason is this illustration: Nightclub- "He was pushing up on my chick, so I brought my gun out, it just went off...." Neighborhood-" They wouldn't shut that *#% dog up, so I shot (neighbor) & dog!"! Household-" She's just a *#% anyway!" Parent-"I had no idea he/she could find that gun, I hid it so well!" These are the news I read about, don't know about politicians or the NRA! It's not just the massacres that are happening too often & are in the back of our collective minds every time we go to a public place, it's these "slow massacres" that happen 1 by 1, every day! Something certainly has to be done, because we can't accept that thousands of preventable deaths is the price we pay for the 2nd amendment!!

    April 2, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  16. S.B. Stein

    I hope that everyone understands that there needs to be something done. Greater searches when letting people getting weapon permits along with smaller clips and weapons that shoot less is what needs to get done.

    April 2, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |