President Barack Obama was weighed down by emotion as he made a speech calling for a national “sense of urgency” to limit gun violence. “Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad,” Obama said, pausing to wipe away tears. He added: “And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day,” referring to his hometown where he began his political career.
The White House is seeking to expand background checks for buyers. The measure clarifies that individuals “in the business of selling firearms” register as licensed gun dealers, effectively narrowing the so-called “gun show loophole,” which exempts most small sellers from keeping formal sales records.
Obama hammered congressional Republicans for opposing measures like expanded background checks as he called on Americans to punish them at the polls. He defended his actions to strengthen background checks for purchasing guns, answering critics who say the measure would not make it harder for criminals to obtain firearms.
“Each time this comes up, we are fed the excuse that common-sense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, so why bother trying,” Obama said.
“I reject that thinking. We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence,” he added.
The President blasted the gun lobby, particularly the National Rifle Association, and insisted that his actions are “not a plot to take away everybody’s guns.”
By Dike Onwuamaeze