Gun control: Listen more, Obama says

2013-01-27 21:40

Washington - President Barack Obama urged gun control advocates to listen to views of rural Americans who use guns for hunting and said bridging a cultural divide in attitudes to gun ownership would be critical to his administration's push to curb gun violence.

"If you grew up and your dad gave you a hunting rifle when you were 10, and you went out and spent the day with him and your uncles, and that became part of your family's traditions, you can see why you'd be pretty protective of that," Obama said in an interview with The New Republic magazine published on Sunday.

Obama made gun control a top priority for his second term after 20 children and six adults were killed by a gunman at a school in Newtown, Connecticut in December.

Obama spoke with The New Republic on 16 January, the same day he announced he would put the full weight of his office behind urging Congress to approve an assault weapons ban and background checks for all gun buyers.

"Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas," Obama said.

"So it's trying to bridge those gaps that I think is going to be part of the biggest task over the next several months...and that means that advocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes," he said.

Vice President Joe Biden is leading the White House effort to talk to Americans about gun control proposals and galvanise public support to pressure Congress to act.
He addressed the issue in Virginia on Friday.

Gun ownership rights are enshrined in the US Constitution and past efforts to restrict gun ownership have been blocked by gun owners, the National Rifle Association and their supporters in Congress.

  • TheBigTT - 2013-01-27 22:55

    Obama is starting to see that his push to wipe out the 2nd amendment wasn't as popular as he thought. Yes, more restrictions need to be put in place so those who shouldn't own a gun don't have access to one. Yes, gun owners must secure their firearms so criminals and children cannot access them. Yes, laws that allow the medical world and clergy to stay quiet when the mentally ill confess their desires to cause harm to the public need to be changed. All this can be done by leaving the average law abiding citizen's right to own firearms alone. Obama needs to allocate the additional resources to making those few changes and enforcing the thousands of laws already in place.

      Mark - 2013-01-28 08:58

      Open your eyes and ears. He does not want to "wipe out" the 2nd amendment. You're simply inflaming a highly emotional issue.

      TheBigTT - 2013-01-28 23:00

      Mark, read what Obama has stated time and time again in the past concerning private gun ownership. He wants all firearms taken from citizens. Even in his initial comments after the shootings he spoke of banning guns, not just specific assult rifles. This isn't an NRA, Tea Party scare tactic. I'm not an NRA member nor am I a Republican so I don't pay attention to what they're saying. This comes from his published books, interviews and articles. If you haven't read them, don't tell me to open my ears and eyes.

      jack.russel.14268769 - 2013-01-28 23:43

      People like markt that fall for every conn these politicians throw. The only thing we learn from history is that we dont learn from history. when the government wants to disarm a nation there's trouble. this after they just bought 500 million rounds of ammo? wake up

  • simphiwe.charlie.5 - 2013-01-28 06:39

    Time that Americans told their kids that killing animals for fun is just plain wrong!

      gruntus.maximus.9 - 2013-01-28 09:46

      The second amendment has nothing to do with hunting. It is all about keeping the population free. Free from a government that dictates its own agenda as law, free from tyranny. Whether that government is of foreign nature or a domestic one, that protection is equally valid. Kind of like what I wish we had here.

      regte.boer - 2013-01-28 09:50

      Yes it is better to kill people like in SA...

      simphiwe.charlie.5 - 2013-01-28 10:29

      OK let me try and get your warped logic, you saying that the more people in society have guns the freer their society becomes??

      simphiwe.charlie.5 - 2013-01-28 10:31

      Oh and by the way, what if the government that you want to protect yourselves against has neuclear weapons? You have the right to own one too?

      gruntus.maximus.9 - 2013-01-28 11:02

      Simphiwe: Of course the standard argument is "But what if the government has Nukes..." Nukes have never been, nor will ever be used to subdue a civilian population. A tyrannical government wants to subjugate its people. So yes one could look at Zimbabwe, China, Russia, and a few other notable examples where Government went in and systematically executed large portions of its populace, but in all of these cases, the people were completely disarmed first. It isn't about killing, its about control, and as soon as people can fight back, that control is a lot more difficult. So yes, the more a society is able to protect itself and not rely on the government, the more free it is.

      simphiwe.charlie.5 - 2013-01-28 11:44

      Gruntus, the reason we have democracy is so we can choose or remove our government by voting. We don't need guns for that purpose. When you start putting guns in the hands of those who oppose the government you end up with a Syria/Libya senario, ie chaos.

      neelso - 2013-01-28 11:51

      @ simphiwe, Just look at the Swiss, your argument sir is invalid.

      gruntus.maximus.9 - 2013-01-28 12:18

      Simphiwe: In those situations where an Arab spring type of regime change happened, it was where democracy no longer worked, where the government basically said "To hell with your choices, we are running it our way" And yes, that is where armed men stood up and said no. How free are we in South Africa? I have always thought that it was criminals who were behind bars, behind high sharp fences and supervised by security forces while law abiding citizens were able to enjoy the country in safety. It seems like here it is the other way around.

      TheBigTT - 2013-01-28 23:06

      No Simphiwe, what happened was the citizens of the early colonies in North America told England they wouldn't be subjected to their laws any longer. The authors of the 2nd amendment felt that a well armed country would both assist in defending it from outsiders and from a government who wished to impose laws on us like England did.

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