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Obama: Lawmakers Must Feel Like They Have To Act Against Gun Violence

Feb 4, 2013
Originally published on February 5, 2013 10:29 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

President Obama took his case today for revamping the nation's gun laws to the frozen streets of Minneapolis, in the first of what will likely be a series of similar events in the coming weeks. The president urged voters to turn up the pressure on Congress and take action to curb gun violence. NPR's David Welna has our story from Minneapolis.

DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: President Obama spoke publicly to a crowd of officials and victims of gun violence at a police facility on the crime-plagued north side of Minneapolis, but first he met with many of them for a closed roundtable examination of how this city reduced gun injuries to young people by 40 percent.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Even though those who were sitting around that table represented very different communities, from big cities to small towns, they all believe it's time to take some basic, common-sense steps to reduce gun violence.

WELNA: The key, the president added, is making lawmakers feel they have to act against gun violence.

OBAMA: That's why I need everybody who's listening to keep the pressure on your member of Congress to do the right thing. Ask them if they support common-sense reforms like requiring universal background checks or restoring the ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

WELNA: And in a nod to deep divisions over just what to do about guns, Obama said the focus should be on reducing the violence.

OBAMA: We may not be able to prevent every massacre or random shooting. No law or set of laws can keep our children completely safe. But if there's even one thing we can do, if there's just one life we can save, we've got an obligation to try.

WELNA: White House Communication Director Dan Pfeiffer says stay tuned for more stops like this one.

DANIEL PFEIFFER: We're going to continue traveling as we work to try to get these measures passed in Congress.

WELNA: David Welna, NPR News, Minneapolis. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.