The biggest applause lines of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address came near its end, when he talked about curbing the nation’s gun violence.Obama mentioned recent victims of gun violence, some of whom were in the audience themselves or represented by surviving family members. He urged Congress to vote on legislation by saying, “They deserve a vote.”
Obama told the story of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old inauguration performer who was shot in Chicago on Jan. 29. He noted that her parents were in the audience tonight.
“Hadiya’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote,” Obama said.
“Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote.
“Our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. Indeed, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all the challenges I’ve outlined tonight. But we were never sent here to be perfect. We were sent here to make what difference we can, to secure this nation, expand opportunity, and uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government.”
The hashtag “#theydeserveavote” is trending on Twitter.
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