Obama Closes With Newtown, Guns

by Categorized: President Obama Date:

From the text of President Obama\’s State of the Union speech:

It has been two months since Newtown.  I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence.  But this time is different.  Overwhelming majorities of Americans – Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment – have come together around commonsense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun.  Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals.  Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned. 

Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress.  If you want to vote no, that’s your choice.  But these proposals deserve a vote.  Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton.  She was 15 years old.  She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss.  She was a majorette.  She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend.  Just three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration.  And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house.

Hadiya’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence.  They deserve a vote.

Gabby Giffords deserves a vote.

The families of Newtown deserve a vote.

The families of Aurora deserve a vote.

The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote.

Our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country.  Indeed, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all the challenges I’ve outlined tonight.  But we were never sent here to be perfect.  We were sent here to make what difference we can, to secure this nation, expand opportunity, and uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government.

We were sent here to look out for our fellow Americans the same way they look out for one another, every single day, usually without fanfare, all across this country.  We should follow their example.

We should follow the example of a New York City nurse named Menchu Sanchez.  When Hurricane Sandy plunged her hospital into darkness, her thoughts were not with how her own home was faring – they were with the twenty precious newborns in her care and the rescue plan she devised that kept them all safe.

We should follow the example of a North Miami woman named Desiline Victor.  When she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours.  And as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say.  Hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line in support of her.  Because Desiline is 102 years old.  And they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read “I Voted.”

We should follow the example of a police officer named Brian Murphy.  When a gunman opened fire on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and Brian was the first to arrive, he did not consider his own safety.  He fought back until help arrived, and ordered his fellow officers to protect the safety of the Americans worshiping inside – even as he lay bleeding from twelve bullet wounds.

When asked how he did that, Brian said, “That’s just the way we’re made.”

That’s just the way we’re made.

We may do different jobs, and wear different uniforms, and hold different views than the person beside us.  But as Americans, we all share the same proud title:

We are citizens.  It’s a word that doesn’t just describe our nationality or legal status.  It describes the way we’re made.  It describes what we believe.  It captures the enduring idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations; that our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others; and that well into our third century as a nation, it remains the task of us all, as citizens of these United States, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our American story. 

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

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31 thoughts on “Obama Closes With Newtown, Guns

  1. Jim Madison

    Except of course that the Federal and State Governments run the background checks that failed to stop crazy Jared from buying a gun to shoot Gaby Giffords or crazy Seung-Hui Cho from buying the gun he used on his classmates at Virginia Tech – and no background check would have stopped Nancy Lanza from buying a nice new .223. But by all means let’s make even more laws that will not be enforced and make more regulations that will not be carried out by our Government.

  2. richard

    I think the minimum wage issue strikes closer to home for many. 9:00 and yearly ost of living adjsutmetns is a step forward. Indexing it to twice the poverty rate is the necessary next step.

    CT balked on an $11.00 wage under Donovan last year. It fell in a quid pro quo with the Unions backing the unionization and dues for home care workers and letting the Minimum Wage legislation die an ugly death even when lowered to $8.50 an hour without COLA increases.

    The myth of CT liberalism and pro-worker unions is long dead. No dues, then there’s no political backing.

    Nationally the Obama proposal will get union backing forcing the local union stooges to climb on board to save face. It will be no thanks to them or local Democrats.

  3. rally for gun reform Feb 14 at capital at 11 bill

    Yes, it was touching tribute and a good way to finish the speech. Of course, demanding an up or down vote would mean putting each Congressman on the record. so they probably won’t do it and this issue will roll over into 2014 elections. Hopefully, by then, the obstructionists will be swept out of office.

    Can you say; goodby Tea Party?

    Let’s support our own efforts at gun control by rallying for legislation tomorrow at the State Capital at 11 AM. Roads are plowed. so come on out.

    1. richard

      There’s a huge leap between good bye tea party and restoring the assualt weapons ban and requiring background checks.

      Requiring backgroud checks and immigration reform will push the RealID agenda forward. The antiquated Social Security Card will move into the 21st Century and turn into a National ID.

    2. Patrick_Henry

      I can say ‘Goodbye First Amendment’ – let’s put an end to religious zealots driving the converstation on consitutional liberties. It’s a great way to help them understand what erosion of freedom means

      1. rally for gun reform Feb 14 at capital at 11 bill

        and I say let’s emulate the British model and ban all guns. then criminals won’t have guns. Oh, and by the way, the gun industry will no longer have a selling point to increase their profits by scaring their base into buying more guns.

        1. Kim

          Our forefathers fought and died to free us from the bonds of British tyranny, and people like ‘rally’ want to go back to it. And they have the audacity to call themselves ‘patriots’.

          Real patriots (the rest of us) kewn and know them as ‘Loyalists’ and ‘Tories’.

          Like you always say wildbill/jimmyboggs/rally: buy a one-way ticket and move to the place you want this country to emulate. Turn in your citizenship papers on the way out

  4. Mitch

    What wasn’t mentioned by President Obama was the fact the man who shot Hadiya Pendleton had been recently arrested three times WHILE ON PROBATION for a weapons charge in Chicago. Seems to me Rahm Emmanuel and his buddies in Chicago dropped the ball here and it also seems like Mr. Obama didn’t tell the whole tale of this senseless killing.

  5. justme

    It’s all about politics and not offering real world solutions. Obama is not about leadership and solutions, his background as a “jive artist” prooves that. He uses a lot of words and does not say anything.

  6. sam

    @ “Rally for gun control at the State Capital Feb 14 ”
    Your little rally on the 14th isnt really addressing real issues behind these massacres such as mental illness in our country or the fact that our society is morally decaying because of our countries liberal views. You are not addressing the fact that violence in the media is just accepted as normal today. All you are doing with more gun control is trying to penalize the people who already abide by our laws not the people commiting these horrendous acts. The second amendment gives “law abiding citizens” who want to own guns a the right to purchase and own them for whatever reason whether it be for self defense, sport, hunting etc… The only thing you gain by making more “feel good” gun laws or passing more gun control and outlawing these guns is that “law abiding citizens” wont be able to purchase and “legally” own these guns for their own defense or whatever, “BUT” the criminal element and the wackos and nut jobs in our society will still be able to aquire them the same way they do now “ILEGALLY”. You will not remove these guns from the depraved criminal element in our society with more laws. You need to enforce the ones already in place to their full extent. So please tell me will you gain by banning certain guns and making them illegal? Criminals dont pay attention to our laws thats what makes them criminals. If you dont believe me that gun laws wont work, just look how well all our “feel good” drug laws are controlling the flow of illegal drugs to the streets of our country now. Lets face it drug laws have no real effect what so ever they just create a lucrative illegal market for the bad guys to profit from. Just like more gun control laws will do. If you really believe that passing more gun laws is the answer to this problem and you believe that this will eliminate gun crime and killings in our country or even lower it, then you are very very naive.

    1. Kim

      Sam: ‘rally’ knows all this – you cannot have a rational, fact-driven discussion with him. What will it gain for ‘rally’? It will make him feel good – the justification for most liberal positions.

    2. rally for gun reform Feb 14 at capital at 11 bill

      Sam: You are partially correct and for that, I applaud you. The current movement fall far short of solutions. yes, I think more resources should be devoted to mental illness.

      but I also think that if we emulate the British model of no guns, the solution is complete. I have simply argued against the 2nd amendment because in our modern era, this amendment has been much maligned. It was not designed to allow distribution of modern assault weapons. but that is a complete and long discussion best made for another time.

      1. sam

        @ Rally There is now way you can model after the british. You can outlaw, ban and confiscate all the guns in the US. Unfortunately just like illegal drugs, illegal guns will still find there way into the hands of the mentally ill and the criminal element in our society. If I thought for 1 minute that this plan of yours would stop gun violence I would jump on your band wagon with you. But I know better that no matter how noble you think your idea is it would not make a difference in gun violence. Enjoy your little rally it is a nice day for it but again please remeber you are wasting your time and addressing the wrong issues. The law abiding citizens you are looking to penalize are not the problem. It is the problem with the accepted violence displayed in our depraved media,the mentally ill issues and lack of record keeping and the lack of punishment of the criminal element in our society you should be addressing. Not the legal gun owner and sportmen who are already following the laws of our state and our country. Rally if you really want to protest for something that might help the gun violence why not protest to bring back the death penalty in connecticut for capital crimes. Oh wait the liberals thought that was to cruel of a punishment for these types of crimes.

  7. Mitchell

    Sadly, the person who shot and killed Hadiya Pendleton had been arrested three times recently while out on probation following a weapons charge in Chicago. Why Barack Obama didn’t mention that is beyond me. Of course, that’s the responsibilty of Rahm Emmanuel and his team in the Windy City. How come the media does not tell the whole story?

    1. Connecticut is Dying Too

      I think we all know the answer to your question Mitchell. The media gave up on objective reporting a long time ago. With very few exceptions, they are now Obama sycophants and the public relations arm of the Democratic party. To think otherwise is to ignore reality.

  8. Kim

    funny how my comments always seem to be ‘awaiting moderation’, which means readers’ can’t see them. Comments by others made before and after mine are posted therefor have passed the ‘moderation’ stage. The only conclusion is that my comments are not deemed suitable for public viewing. The only apparent reason is the whim of the ‘moderator’.

    I write this post – as I do with others – with the goal of capturing screen shots to prove/enhance my case on the off-chance the editors/owners of the Courant give a crap when they learned that I haven’t renewed my subscription next month. That hasn’t been the case so far – no response to my email 2 weeks ago other than a comment forwarding it to another department. That will be the same department I will forward any sales calls to, if and when the sales department contacts me about renewing. Yes, sales is the ONLY department at the Courant that seems to be interested in subscriber satisfaction and subscription status (less the former, more the latter).

  9. susan

    Everyone is now behind banning these evil assault guns. And the people who now own them will themselves be criminals for there possesion. Once these guns are taken away from everyone, CT will be a safer place for everyone. Malloy knows that, the Courant knows that, and now the people.

    1. sam

      You have to be kidding you are not really this foolish are you? You think taking these guns from “law abiding citizens” is going to make things safer? Do you think criminals and the like are just going to turn in their guns? WOW lol You have drank way to much of the kool aid.

    2. Connecticut is Dying Too

      @ Susan:

      1. “Everyone” is not behind banning these guns. Speak for yourself.

      2. It’s “their;” not “there.”

      3. Its “possession;” not “possesion.”

      4. If these weapons were banned, there would be little if any measurable change in the level of gun violence in this country.

      5. Liberalism is a mental disorder.

    3. Patrick_Henry

      not everyone, wildbill/rally/billyboggs. The only thing that everyone knows is that zealots are dangerous to a free people. Once zealots are silenced the country will be a safer place.

      It’s clearly time to abolish the First Amendment and it’s protection of religion

    4. richard

      Most don’t necessarily believe it based on past statistics. Its proven to be fairly ineffective but popular. Best approach: targeting felons most likely to use firearms as with “Operation Longevity”. Now that’s effective and validated by research!

    5. johngaltwhereru

      No, “everyone” isn’t behind banning any weapon. If “everyone” was, there would be no reason for people like yourself to make incorrect blanket statements.

      Inanimate object cannot be evil.

      Even if legislators miraculously ban further sales of what you call “assault rifles”, there is no chance that passable legislation will criminalize possession of weapons previously purchased legally. But non of this matters, because even a ban on future purchases has little chance of passing because far fewer people than “everyone” agree with you.

  10. Patrick_Henry

    The most irrelevant speech I’ve ever heard, full of more and more plans for government intervention in our lives and the usual ‘it won’t cost a thing’ rhetoric. Karl Marx would be proud

      1. Kim

        Finally, some honesty out of rally. Your sobbing will come in handy when you realize how pointless and doomed-to-fail your little rally will be today.

        Wayne LaPierre for President in 2016!

  11. sam

    @ Rally There is now way you can model after the british. You can outlaw, ban and confiscate all the guns in the US. Unfortunately just like illegal drugs, illegal guns will still find there way into the hands of the mentally ill and the criminal element in our society. If I thought for 1 minute that this plan of yours would stop gun violence I would jump on your band wagon with you. But I know better that no matter how noble you think your idea is it would not make a difference in gun violence. Enjoy your little rally it is a nice day for it but again please remeber you are wasting your time and addressing the wrong issues. The law abiding citizens you are looking to penalize are not the problem. It is the problem with the accepted violence displayed in our depraved media,the mentally ill issues and lack of record keeping and the lack of punishment of the criminal element in our society you should be addressing. Not the legal gun owner and sportmen who are already following the laws of our state and our country. Rally if you really want to protest for something that might help the gun violence why not protest to bring back the death penalty in connecticut for capital crimes. Oh wait the liberals thought that was to cruel of a punishment for these types of crimes.

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