Friday in San Francisco, CA at the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, President Barack Obama was defiant in his push for gun control in light of the mass murder of nine worshipers earlier this week at at Charleston SC’s Emanuel AME Church.
Obama said, “We should be able to talk about this issue as citizens, without demonizing all gun owners, who are overwhelmingly law-abiding, but also without suggesting that any debate about this involves a wild plot to take everybody’s guns away.”
“I know today’s politics makes it less likely that we take a stand on serious gun safety legislation. I remarked that it is very unlikely that this Congress would act, and some reporters, I think, took this as resignation. I want to be clear—I am not resigned. I have faith we will eventually do the right thing. I was simply making the point that we have to move public opinion. We have to feel a sense of urgency. Ultimately, Congress will follow the people, and we have to stop being confused about this. At some point as a country, we have to reckon with what happens. It is not good enough simply to show sympathy.”
“You do not see murder on this kind of scale, with this kind of frequency, in any advanced nation on earth. Every country has violent, hateful, or mentally unstable people. What is different is not a free country is awash with easily accessible guns.”
“I refuse to act as if this is the new normal or to pretend that it is simply sufficient to grieve and that any new mention of us doing some thing to stop it is somehow politicizing the problem.”
“We need a change in attitudes among everybody—Lawful gun owners—those who are unfamiliar with guns. We have to have a conversation about it and fix it. And ultimately, Congress acts when the public insists on action. And we have seen how public opinion has changed. We have seen a change on gay marriage. We have seen it beginning to change on climate change. We have got to shift how we think about this issue. And we have the capacity to change it. But we have to feel a sense of urgency about it. We as a people have got to change. That is how we honor those families. That is how we honor the families in Newtown. That is how we honor the families in Aurora.”
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