President Obama called Congress for soon passing gun-control measures, pleading the political world not to forget killed children and adults in the terrible Newtown shooting less than 100 days ago.
‚ÄúShame on us if we’ve forgotten,‚ÄĚ the U.S. president declared Thursday at a White House event where he was surrounded by a dozens of relatives of ¬†gun violence victims.
President Obama made pauses to take effect, stating: ‚ÄúI haven’t forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we’ve forgotten.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúTears aren’t enough. Expressions of sympathy aren’t enough. Speeches aren’t enough,‚ÄĚ he went on, adding: ‚ÄúWe’ve cried enough. We’ve known enough heartbreak. What we’re proposing isn’t radical. It isn’t taking anybody’s gun rights. It’s something that, if we are serious, we will do.‚ÄĚ
In the White House‚Äôs East Room gathered families of three of the¬†20 children killed in the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting that led to a new push on Capitol Hill for gun control legislation.
As The Huffington Post¬†reports, spokesman Kevin Hall said Virginia Sen. Mark Warner is “still holding conversations with Virginia stakeholders and sorting through issues on background checks” and proposals on assault weapons and magazines.
Earlier this week, Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota said, “I do not need someone from New York City to tell me how to handle crime in our state. I know that we can go after and prosecute criminals without the need to infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding North Dakotans.”
Expanding federal background checks to private sales at gun shows and online is the gun-control effort’s centerpiece became the focus of Obama’s speech at the White House event.
‚ÄúLater tonight, I will start the process of bringing a bill to reduce gun violence to the Senate floor,‚ÄĚ Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid¬†said in a statement. ‚ÄúThis bill will include the provisions on background checks, school safety and gun trafficking reported by the Judiciary Committee.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúI hope negotiations will continue over the upcoming break to reach a bipartisan compromise on background checks, and I am hopeful that they will succeed. If a compromise is reached, I am open to including it in the base bill. But I want to be clear: in order to be effective, any bill that passes the Senate must include background checks.‚ÄĚ
During his address to Congress , the U.S. president singled out that recent polling showed strong support for many provisions of the Senate bill, even among Republicans and gun owners.
‚ÄúIf you think that checking someone‚Äôs criminal record before he can check out at a gun show is common sense, make yourself heard,‚ÄĚ Obama said. ‚ÄúIf they’re not part of that 90 percent that agree that we should make it harder for a criminal or someone with a severe mental illness to get a gun, you should ask them why not.‚ÄĚ
However, some Senate Democrats have already expressed hesitation about new gun controls, making the prospects for legislation uncertain, The Hill writes.
On Thursday, Obama urged those watching to “make themselves heard right now” and continue exerting political pressure.
“We need everybody to remember how we felt 100 days ago and to make sure what we said wasn’t just a bunch of platitudes,” Obama said.
The White House announced earlier in the week that President Obama would advocate on behalf of his gun plans in a series of public events in coming weeks, including a visit on Wednesday to Denver.