President Barack Obama teared up Tuesday during an emotional speech on gun control at the White House.
Obama spoke to lay out the rationale behind his recently announced slate of executive actions on guns in an emotional speech, surrounded by gun control advocates and family members of victims of gun violence.
“Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day,” Obama said.
“We do have to feel a sense of urgency about it,” Obama said.
He added: “Because people are dying and the constant excuses for inaction no longer suffice. That’s why we’re here today. Not to debate the last mass shooting, but to do something to try and prevent the next one.”
The president laid out the specifics of his plan, explaining the newly clarified rules that narrow the types of individual “private” gun sellers that can sell guns without subjecting their buyers to a background checks, and noting that the FBI would hire 230 new agents to help process background checks.
“Anybody in the business of selling firearms must get a licence … or be subject to criminal prosecutions,” Obama said. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing it over the Internet or a gun show.”
Obama also slammed critics of his push for gun control measures.
The president said that states that loosening gun control restrictions, specifically Missouri, had according to some studies had seen an increased likelihood of gun violence.
Obama also blasted some Republican presidential candidates who have criticised the president’s plan.
“Contrary to claims of some presidential candidates apparently before this meeting, this is not a plot to take away everybody’s guns. You pass a background check, you can purchase a firearm.”
“The gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage right now, but they cannot hold America hostage,” Obama said.