(Video of the live event includes remarks from a Newtown parent and the president arriving and leaving – event starts at 36:35 on this video, with the president speaking at 42:30)
President Obama (at 1:11:00 in this video):
All of us should be able to work together to find a balance that declares the rest of our rights are also important — Second Amendment rights are important, but there are other rights that we care about as well. And we have to be able to balance them. Because our right to worship freely and safely –- that right was denied to Christians in Charleston, South Carolina. (Applause.) And that was denied Jews in Kansas City. And that was denied Muslims in Chapel Hill, and Sikhs in Oak Creek. (Applause.) They had rights, too. (Applause.)
Our right to peaceful assembly -– that right was robbed from moviegoers in Aurora and Lafayette. Our unalienable right to life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -– those rights were stripped from college students in Blacksburg and Santa Barbara, and from high schoolers at Columbine, and from first-graders in Newtown. First-graders. And from every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun.
Every time I think about those kids it gets me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day. (Applause.)
The answer? Vote … make this issue a campaign issue:
Ninety percent of Americans supported [the idea of expanded background checks]. Ninety percent of Democrats in the Senate voted for that idea. But [the post-Sandy Hook reforms] failed because 90 percent of Republicans in the Senate voted against that idea. […] The bill before Congress three years ago met [the test of saving more lives]. Unfortunately, too many senators failed theirs. […]
So the gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage right now, but they cannot hold America hostage. (Applause.) We do not have to accept this carnage as the price of freedom. (Applause.) […]
Yes, the gun lobby is loud and it is organized in defense of making it effortless for guns to be available for anybody, any time. Well, you know what, the rest of us, we all have to be just as passionate. We have to be just as organized in defense of our kids. This is not that complicated. The reason Congress blocks laws is because they want to win elections. And if you make it hard for them to win an election if they block those laws, they’ll change course, I promise you.
Full transcript below.
You need to login in order to like this post: click here