NEW ORLEANS – In one of his most expansive responses yet to gun crime, President Barack Obama on Wednesday embraced some degree of control on the sale of weapons but said he would also seek a consensus on combating violence. He said some responsibility also rests with parents, neighbors and teachers to ensure that young people "do not have that void inside them."
Speaking just six days after the shooting in Aurora, Colo., movie theater that left 12 dead, Obama pledged to work with lawmakers of both parties to stop violence, not only the sudden massacres that have bedeviled the nation, but the steady drip of urban crime that has cost many young lives.
"We should leave no stone unturned and recognize that we have no greater mission that keeping our young people safe," Obama said in a speech to the National Urban League.
Obama called for stepped-up background checks for people who want to purchase guns and restrictions to keep mentally imbalanced individuals from buying weapons. He says those steps "shouldn't be controversial, they should be common sense."
But he also added: "We must also understand that when a child opens fire on other children, there's a hole in his heart that no government can fill."