An emotional President Barack Obama made a plea to curb the nation’s rash of gun violence Monday in a city that has taken steps of its own in recent years to combat the epidemic.Speaking in Minneapolis, Minn., Obama stood in front of dozens of law enforcement agents and declared that “we’re not going to wait until the next Newtown or Aurora,” two of the horrific mass shootings in 2012.
“If there’s even one thing we can do — if there’s just one life we can save — we have an obligation to try,” Obama said. “We don’t have to agree on everything to agree it’s time to do something.”
Obama’s attempt to garner support for his plan came in Minneapolis, a city the White House cited as one that has “taken important steps to reduce gun violence and foster a conversation in the community about what further action is needed.” Obama laid out the White House’s plan in the middle of January.
Speaking in front of dozens of law enforcement agents, Obama touted their role in the gun violence debate. Obama also hailed Minneapolis as a shining example that “progress is possible.”
Obama pushed key elements of his plan. He led off with background checks, pointing out that they are widely supported by all political ideologies.
“The vast majority of gun owners support criminal background checks on anyone trying to buy a gun. … That’s a smart idea. That’s common sense,” Obama said.
He also reaffirmed his support for a limit on magazine capacity and an assault weapons ban, though he only said it “deserved a vote” in Congress.
“Weapons of war have no place on our streets, in our schools,” he said.
“The only way we can reduce gun violence in this country is if the American people decide it’s important,” Obama added.
Obama also slammed critics who charge that his plan is a violation of Second Amendment rights.
“There’s no legislation to eliminate all guns. There’s no legislation proposed to subvert the Second Amendment. … These are things that the majority of Americans, when asked, support,” Obama said.
Minneapolis was given the harsh nickname of “Murder-apolis” in the mid-1990s after a rash of gang violence in the city. But it has taken steps to curb gun violence that mirror some of the White House’s proposals. Specifically, the city began a youth violence initiative in 2008 that has seen success. And it has also worked to make the nation’s background check system more stringent.
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