President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at Hyde Park Academy on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, in Chicago. (Photo: AP)
President Barack Obama spoke about his new gun control initiatives during a quick visit to his hometown of Chicago Friday, but the violence in one of the most dangerous cities in the United States did not abate.
The Politico relates:
Four separate shootings took place in the span of 90 minutes Friday evening in Chicago, the first coming less than an hour after Air Force One departed O'Hare Airport after President Obama spoke on the culture of gun violence and economic decay that plagues many cities, including his hometown.
An hour earlier, Obama wrapped up a personal speech at Hyde Park Academy on the South Side, where he mourned the killing of Hadiya Pendleton, the teen who visited Washington for his inauguration just a week before she was gunned down not far from the school. “This is not just a gun issue. It’s also an issue of the kinds of communities that we’re building, and for that we all share a responsibility as citizens to fix it,” he said.
Obama had said little about Chicago's murder problem -- there were more than 500 in 2012 -- before Friday, instead focusing on mass shootings in his post-Newtown gun control push. But at a high school just two miles away from his Chicago home, he acknowledged the depths of devastation that street violence generated in the city.
“Last year, there were 443 murders with a firearm in this city, and 65 of them were 18 and under. That’s the equivalent of a Newtown every four months,” he said. “That’s precisely why the overwhelming majority of Americans are asking for some common sense proposals to make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun.” [Emphasis added]
Chicago already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, but some legislators say looser gun laws in neighboring states cancel out their efforts.
According to the Chicago Tribune, 3 men and a woman were the victims of Friday night's 90-minute crime wave. The woman died; the men did not.
Here's raw video of the president's remarks on gun violence, which he gave at a local high school:
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