Tearful Barack Obama unveils his plan to cut gun violence

Published: Wednesday 6th January 2016 by The News Editor

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President Barack Obama, with tears streaking down his cheeks, launched a final push to tighten sales of firearms, using his presidential powers in the absence of tougher gun restrictions that Congress refuses to pass.

The president struck a combative tone as he came out with plans for expanded background checks and other modest measures that have drawn criticism from gun rights groups, which Mr Obama accused of making Congress their hostage.

Palpable, too, was Mr Obama’s extreme frustration at having made such little progress on gun control since the killing of 20 school children in Connecticut shocked the nation more than three years ago.

“First-graders,” he said, resting his chin on his hand and wiping away tears as he recalled the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

“Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad.”

Mr Obama’s 10-point plan to keep firearms from those who should not have them marked a concession by the president, as he will leave office without securing the tough control laws he has repeatedly implored Congress to pass.

Although the president, acting alone, can take action around the margins, only Congress can enact more sweeping changes that gun control advocates say are the only way to truly stem the frequency of mass shootings.

“It won’t happen overnight,” Mr Obama said. “It won’t happen during this Congress. It won’t happen during my presidency.”

But, he added optimistically: “A lot of things don’t happen overnight.”

The National Rifle Association, the largest gun rights lobbying group, slammed Mr Obama’s plan and said it was “ripe for abuse,” although the group did not specify what steps, if any, it will take to oppose or try to block it.

Published: Wednesday 6th January 2016 by The News Editor

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