President Barack Obama during an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” vowed to put his “full weight” behind legislation next year aimed at curbing gun violence.
The president also said he was “skeptical” about the National Rifle Association’s proposals to place armed guards in schools as a response to the the Dec. 14 shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left 26 people dead, including 20 children.
“In his boldest terms yet,” as the Associated Press puts it, “he vowed to rally the American people around an agenda to limit gun violence.” The president noted that he “still supports increased background checks and bans on assault weapons and high capacity bullet magazines.”
“It is not enough for us to say, ‘This is too hard so we’re not going to try,’” the president said. “So what I intend to do is I will call all the stakeholders together. I will meet with Republicans. I will meet with Democrats. I will talk to anybody.
“I think there are a vast majority of responsible gun owners out there who recognize that we can’t have a situation in which somebody with severe psychological problems is able to get the kind of high capacity weapons that this individual in Newtown obtained and gun down our kids. And, yes, it’s going to be hard.”
The President’s remarks come as the horrific Newtown, Conn., shooting spree has pushed the topic of gun control to the forefront of national debate. The massacre has prompted intensified calls for increased gun control. However, the NRA has resisted these calls, arguing instead that schools should have armed guards.
“I am skeptical that the only answer is putting more guns in schools,” President Obama said. “And I think the vast majority of the American people are skeptical that that somehow is going to solve our problem.”
The president pledged to “press the issue” with the public.
“Will there be resistance? Absolutely there will be resistance,” he said.
“The question then becomes whether we are actually shook up enough by what happened here that it does not just become another one of these routine episodes where it gets a lot of attention for a couple of weeks and then it drifts away,” he said.
“It certainly won’t feel like that to me. This is something that — you know, that was the worst day of my presidency. And it’s not something that I want to see repeated,” he added.
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