Citing shootings, Obama says must 'go back at' gun-control push

WASHINGTON Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:12pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Phoenix Awards Dinner in Washington, September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Phoenix Awards Dinner in Washington, September 21, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama urged supporters on Saturday to "go back at it" and pursue gun-control measures after mass shootings in Washington and Chicago in the past week put the spotlight back onto the problem of gun violence in the United States.

Obama made passing tough gun laws a top priority after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in December, stunning the nation.

But Congress rejected his proposals to restrict sales of certain types of guns and require greater background checks. Gun-rights groups opposed the measures, saying they would infringe on Americans' constitutional rights.

"We fought a good fight earlier this year, but we came up short, and that means we've got to get back up and go back at it," Obama told an awards dinner for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

"As long as there are those who fight to make it as easy as possible for dangerous people to get their hands on guns, then we've got to work as hard as possible for the sake of our children ... to do more work to make it harder," he said to applause.

The Obama administration has largely moved on to other priorities since the gun measures were defeated in Congress, but a recent spate of shootings has brought the issue back into the headlines.

Last Monday, a government contractor killed 12 people during rampage at the Washington Navy Yard before police killed him in a gun battle.

On Thursday night in Chicago, the president's hometown, suspected gang members opened fire with an assault weapon late at a park, wounding 13 people including a 3-year-old child.

Obama is scheduled to speak at a memorial service for the Navy Yard victims on Sunday and referred to both shootings during his remarks.

However, despite the violence and Obama's remarks, the political appetite for gun control on Capitol Hill has not changed, and a broad new effort by the administration is unlikely as it works on immigration reform and budget battles that threaten to shut down the government.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday to fund the government, but only if Obama's landmark healthcare law - which is detested by his political opponents - is ransacked.

Obama lashed out at Republicans for that and reiterated his pledge not to negotiate whether to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, which is necessary for Washington to pay its bills.

"This is an interesting thing to ponder, that your top agenda is making sure 20 million people don't have health insurance, and you'd be willing to shut down the government and potentially default for the first time in United States history because it bothers you so much," he said.

"Let me say as clearly as I can: It is not going to happen ... We will not negotiate over whether or not America should keep its word and meet its obligations. We're not going to allow anyone to inflict economic pain on millions of our own people just to make an ideological point."

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by David Brunnstrom)

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Comments (79)
Chickenlips wrote:
When is someone going to stop President Obama from taking away our freedoms. He has got to be the only President I have seen since Carter that is so arrogant and refuses to listen to the will of the people. He is like a spoiled rotten child that if he can’t get his way he will not quit until he does. Why is Congress on both sides of the isle not seeing how dangerous he is to America. Google how the health care law is going to affect working Americans with insurance. Look at how many companies have already cut benefits because of the law. He says he’s all about the middle class but his plans hurt the middle class all the way down. How much do we have to take before we all say enough?

Sep 21, 2013 11:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
sanmiguel wrote:
First let me state that I am not anti gun owner. I have owned guns and support the right of Every Americans to do so.
Also, let me state that I am opposed to Government Registration of Guns.
I fully understand the fear that gun registration is the first step toward gun confiscation. Therefore, I oppose gun registration.
However, I support the concept of making one person responsible for one gun, each and every gun. No feral guns, every gun has an owner. There is no such thing as a gun without an owner. When my father gave me my first .22, he told me that I was responsible for everything that happened with that gun. No exceptions!
With this in mind, let me present to you my contribution as to how we might reconcile this issue:

Responsible Gun Owners Act

1. Every gun shall have a designated owner, who is fully responsible for everything that happens with that weapon.
2. No gun owner shall ever have to register his/her weapon with any Government Agency.
3. The Responsible Ownership of a weapon shall be assigned in the following manner:
a. The maker, or importer, of the weapon shall bear full responsibility for the weapon, until such time as they can prove transfer of ownership to another party.
b. Each subsequent owner shall bear full responsibility for the weapon, until such time as they can prove transfer of ownership to another party.
c. It shall be the full responsibility of the person transferring ownership of a weapon to another party to secure documentation of the transfer of ownership, which will stand up in a court of law.
d. A person who has been notified of their responsibility for damages caused by their weapon shall have a designated period in which to submit proof of transfer of ownership to another party.
e. All Documentation of Ownership shall be held, and owned, solely by the gun owners, with the exception of documents submitted in a court of law to prove transfer of ownership.
f. No Government Agency shall have the right to subpoena Documentation of Ownership.
4. The established owner of a gun shall be held totally responsible for everything that happens with his/her weapon without exception. Loss of control of a gun through negligence, including loss to theft, allowing improper access to the weapon by persons who would abuse or misuse weapon, etc. shall be assumed the fault of the established gun owner, due to his/her failure to properly secure the weapon.

Under this plan, the Government would never have a list of all guns and gun owners with which to confiscate guns. The gun owners would hold all documentation of gun ownership. The only time any documentation would have to be presented to a Court, or any other Government Agency, would be when a previous gun owner needed to prove the transfer of responsibility to a new owner. That would only happen in cases where the weapon had been misused.
My obvious motive here is to get gun owners to take better control of their weapons. I had all of my guns stolen once. It was my fault that those guns were stolen. I should have secured them better. I think if I had known that if one day the gun thief killed someone with one of my guns, I would be held fully responsible, I just might have locked them up better.
I stand firmly opposed to Government gun control.
I also know that guns must be controlled.
If gun owners refuse to control their weapons, then the Government, (that’s Government of by and for The People) will have to do it for them.
Look! Every real threat to the Right to Bear Arms has been due to someone losing control of a weapon. Someone let that weapon fall into the wrong hands. Someone did not secure that weapon. If Columbine had never happened, if Gabby Giffords had never been shot, if the theater shooting in Aurora, Co had never happened, Sandy Hook, etc., etc. If these shootings had never happened, there would be no Gun Control Movement. And the reason these incidents happened is because some wrong people got guns. Somebody’s going to stop this. I would rather see the gun owners and gun industry stop it than the Government.

Sep 21, 2013 11:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
sanmiguel wrote:
First let me state that I am not anti gun owner. I have owned guns and support the right of Every Americans to do so.
Also, let me state that I am opposed to Government Registration of Guns.
I fully understand the fear that gun registration is the first step toward gun confiscation. Therefore, I oppose gun registration.
However, I support the concept of making one person responsible for one gun, each and every gun. No feral guns, every gun has an owner. There is no such thing as a gun without an owner. When my father gave me my first .22, he told me that I was responsible for everything that happened with that gun. No exceptions!
With this in mind, let me present to you my contribution as to how we might reconcile this issue:

Responsible Gun Owners Act

1. Every gun shall have a designated owner, who is fully responsible for everything that happens with that weapon.
2. No gun owner shall ever have to register his/her weapon with any Government Agency.
3. The Responsible Ownership of a weapon shall be assigned in the following manner:
a. The maker, or importer, of the weapon shall bear full responsibility for the weapon, until such time as they can prove transfer of ownership to another party.
b. Each subsequent owner shall bear full responsibility for the weapon, until such time as they can prove transfer of ownership to another party.
c. It shall be the full responsibility of the person transferring ownership of a weapon to another party to secure documentation of the transfer of ownership, which will stand up in a court of law.
d. A person who has been notified of their responsibility for damages caused by their weapon shall have a designated period in which to submit proof of transfer of ownership to another party.
e. All Documentation of Ownership shall be held, and owned, solely by the gun owners, with the exception of documents submitted in a court of law to prove transfer of ownership.
f. No Government Agency shall have the right to subpoena Documentation of Ownership.
4. The established owner of a gun shall be held totally responsible for everything that happens with his/her weapon without exception. Loss of control of a gun through negligence, including loss to theft, allowing improper access to the weapon by persons who would abuse or misuse weapon, etc. shall be assumed the fault of the established gun owner, due to his/her failure to properly secure the weapon.

Under this plan, the Government would never have a list of all guns and gun owners with which to confiscate guns. The gun owners would hold all documentation of gun ownership. The only time any documentation would have to be presented to a Court, or any other Government Agency, would be when a previous gun owner needed to prove the transfer of responsibility to a new owner. That would only happen in cases where the weapon had been misused.
My obvious motive here is to get gun owners to take better control of their weapons. I had all of my guns stolen once. It was my fault that those guns were stolen. I should have secured them better. I think if I had known that if one day the gun thief killed someone with one of my guns, I would be held fully responsible, I just might have locked them up better.
I stand firmly opposed to Government gun control.
I also know that guns must be controlled.
If gun owners refuse to control their weapons, then the Government, (that’s Government of by and for The People) will have to do it for them.
Look! Every real threat to the Right to Bear Arms has been due to someone losing control of a weapon. Someone let that weapon fall into the wrong hands. Someone did not secure that weapon. If Columbine had never happened, if Gabby Giffords had never been shot, if the theater shooting in Aurora, Co had never happened, Sandy Hook, etc., etc. If these shootings had never happened, there would be no Gun Control Movement. And the reason these incidents happened is because some wrong people got guns. Somebody’s going to stop this. I would rather see the gun owners and gun industry stop it than the Government.

Sep 21, 2013 11:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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