President Obama Responds to Gun Violence

A Message from President Obama about Petitions on Reducing Gun Violence.
By Bruce Reed, Chief of Staff to Vice President Biden

Washington, DC –-( In the days since the tragedy in Newtown, Americans from all over the country have called for action to deter mass shootings and reduce gun violence. Hundreds of thousands of you have signed petitions on We the People.

I’m writing you today to thank you for speaking up, to update you on an important development, and to encourage you to continue engaging with the White House on this critical issue.

First, you should know that President Obama is paying close to attention to the public response to this tragedy. In fact, he sat down to record a message specifically for those of you who have joined the conversation using We the People. Watch it now:

A Message from President Obama about Your Petition on Reducing Gun Violence

On Wednesday, the President outlined a series of first steps we can take to begin the work of ending this cycle of violence. This is what he said:

“We know this is a complex issue that stirs deeply held passions and political divides. And as I said on Sunday night, there’s no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. We’re going to need to work on making access to mental health care at least as easy as access to a gun. We’re going to need to look more closely at a culture that all too often glorifies guns and violence. And any actions we must take must begin inside the home and inside our hearts.

But the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. The fact that we can’t prevent every act of violence doesn’t mean we can’t steadily reduce the violence, and prevent the very worst violence.”

Vice President Biden has been asked to work with members of the Administration, Congress, and the general public to come up with a set of concrete policy proposals by next month — proposals the President intends to push swiftly. The President asked the Vice President to lead this effort in part because he wrote and passed the 1994 Crime Bill that helped law enforcement bring down the rate of violent crime in America. That bill included the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.

As the Vice President’s Chief of Staff, I’m going to do everything I can to ensure we run a process that includes perspectives from all sides of the issue, which is why I wanted to respond to your petition myself. Two decades ago, as domestic policy adviser in the Clinton White House, I first worked with Joe Biden as he fought to enact the Crime Bill, the assault weapons ban, and the Brady Bill. I will never forget what a key role the voices of concerned citizens like you played in that vital process.

The President called on Congress to pass important legislation “banning the sale of military-style assault weapons,” “banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips,” and “requiring background checks before all gun purchases, so that criminals can’t take advantage of legal loopholes to buy a gun from somebody who won’t take the responsibility of doing a background check at all.”

An issue this serious and complex isn’t going to be resolved with a single legislative proposal or policy prescription. And let’s be clear, any action we take will respect the Second Amendment. As the President said:

“Look, like the majority of Americans, I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. This country has a strong tradition of gun ownership that’s been handed down from generation to generation. Obviously across the country there are regional differences. There are differences between how people feel in urban areas and rural areas. And the fact is the vast majority of gun owners in America are responsible — they buy their guns legally and they use them safely, whether for hunting or sport shooting, collection or protection.

But you know what, I am also betting that the majority — the vast majority — of responsible, law-abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few from buying a weapon of war. I’m willing to bet that they don’t think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas — that an unbalanced man shouldn’t be able to get his hands on a military-style assault rifle so easily; that in this age of technology, we should be able to check someone’s criminal records before he or she can check out at a gun show; that if we work harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be fewer atrocities like the one in Newtown — or any of the lesser-known tragedies that visit small towns and big cities all across America every day.”

The President said it best: “Ultimately if this effort is to succeed it’s going to require the help of the American people — it’s going to require all of you. If we’re going to change things, it’s going to take a wave of Americans — mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, pastors, law enforcement, mental health professionals — and, yes, gun owners — standing up and saying ‘enough’ on behalf of our kids.”

So let’s continue this conversation and get something meaningful done. If you have additional ideas and are interested in further engagement with the White House on this issue, please let us know and share your thoughts here:

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, what is a real "American"? The native Indians, The Spaniards that funded Columbus's voyage to the new continent, the pilgrims? Hendrick, no demand, no supply. the US is the most intoxicated, drugged-up nation in the world. Stop the demand, the supply will dry up.


Interesting untold back story on the Portland OR mall shooting.


Every right we have comes at a price. And we as a nation have to decide what price we're willing to pay to be able to exercise a particular right. Unfortunately the price is often measured by the actions of a few who abuse that right. The right to bear arms is no exception. In the aftermath of the Newtown incident, there was nearly unanimous agreement on the scope of that tragedy. But opinions on what should be done to reduce the risk of this happening again are divided. I believe there are still a majority of Americans who believe… Read more »


This is a country that is still home to millions of REAL Americans , Americans are individuals that take responsibility for their own actions and behavior , they will NOT give up this freedom without a fight and the ones with the best weapons will win that fight , not he ones with the weakest arguments .

Silas Longshot

The CA dingbat club (Boxer and Finestine) wants to not only ban all 'assault weapons'& gear but to CONFISCATE ALL WEAPONS. Yeah, I can see that going down. A civil war would start over that stupidity, because the people will NOT be stripped of their rights. The liar in chief, as usual, 'adjusts' the truth to suit the current topic. The kid had an 'assault weapon', BUT DID NOT USE IT in the killings. The ONLY way these mass school killings is to END all gun free killing zones and encourage all responsible adults who care to, working in schools,… Read more »

Mike the Limey

I see the assault rifle lie is alive & well & being used on the unknowing.

This latest attack on firearms ownership has nothing to do with last week's tragedy, apart from using it in an attempt to bring in the greatest piece of social control ever conceived by a US President.

We pretty much lost our rights here in the UK a generation or two back & I sincerely hope the people of the US don't suffer the same fate.

Obama could stop major gun violence by stopping the Mexican Drug Cartels at the Border and keep them from shipping their illegal drugs to America. That would cut off the main supply of illegal drugs to America's drug gangs, stop their major gun violence.


Murphy, Ho Ho and a box of shells.

Big Chase

Big Will what do think should be done? Taking away rights from the law abiding shouldn't even be a possibility in this discussion. The only thing that really makes sense is to have a security team at every school. The president, congress, judges and many others have armed security teams what makes them more deserving than our children? You all know damn well once we give up any of our rights they're just going to keep trying to take more. Do you really trust the government that much? The 2nd Amendment isn't about hunting, it's about the right of the… Read more »


Look at your hometown of Chicago Barry.They ban all guns all the time and yet their gun violence is unprecedented.More people were murdered in Chicago than in the years that the war in Iraq and Afghanistan was going on combined in the same time period!Does that mean anything to you?Obviously you're too much of a control freak to pay attention to facts or logic.Oh, by they way,the people guarding your ass,what are they carrying,Twizzlers? I'll keep my guns,thank you very much cretin.


I do Believe in Santa Clause he's getting me an evil black shotgun that holds 8 rounds and has a collapsible stock. If only the gun new it was evil.

Pete Wenzel, Esq

People need to take a few deep breaths, sit down and be calm before they sign away the rights that my father and MANY other fathers fought for. One of my dearest childhood memories is of being awakened by my Dad @ 4:30 in the morning and being told, "Come on, there's a flock of geese circling the farm in the fog. Let's see if we can bring one down." So, we all stood there shivering in the farmyard in absolute nakedness shooting into the blue in the hope that we'd have a lucky hit. Well, we got one. And… Read more »


It is very easy they want the guns—ALL THE GUNS–can not make it any simpler!!!!!!


If you believe the Bull shit emanating from the liars mouth, you must believe in Santa Claus, the tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, too.

Big will

I am a gun owner, former LEO, NRA certified instructor, NRA life member, currently hold a security officers lic in CT and 2 pistol permits, 1 from CT and 1 from FL as a non-resident. I am pro-gun but we do need 2 make changes. The fact is that every firearm use in a crime was legal at some time and we have to find a way to close those gaps.