Obama says he isn’t gunning for our Second Amendment rights
Tuesday afternoon the president gave remarks at the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Chicago. It called for the need to enact sensible criminal justice reform, improving relations between the police and citizenry, and arguing the necessity to repair and strengthen those community-policing methods to curb crime. At the same time, as Cortney noted, the president was frank about the racial bias in the system, and the disproportionate number of stops made by police against persons of color. The president reflected on his own experiences, where he admitted that most of the times he got a ticket was deserved, but added that there were times when that wasn’t the case. Criminal justice reform is an area where both sides are coming together. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) is one of the leaders on the conservative side leading that debate. Yet, towards the end of his almost hour-long address, gun control was also brought into mix. Obama wanted to make something clear: he’s not out to take people’s guns away (via the Hill):
[Gun control portion of speech begins at the 40-minute mark]
“Some of you are watching certain television stations or listening to certain radio programs, please do not believe this notion that somehow I’m out to take everyone’s guns away,” he told the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
“Every time a mass shootings happens, one of the saddest ironies is suddenly the purchase of guns and ammunition jumps up because folks scared into thinking that, ‘Obama’s gonna use this as an excuse to take away our Second Amendment rights,’” he added. “Nobody’s doing that.”
“We’re talking about common-sense measures to make criminals don’t get them, to make sure background checks work, to make sure that we’re protecting ourselves.”
The president then rattled off more anecdotes and facts to support this argument for gun control. One of them is that in Chicago, and other cities across the country, it’s easier for young people to buy a gun than a book–or fresh vegetables in a supermarket. Hence, the reason why we should expand background checks for gun purchases. He also said that police are three times more likely to be killed in states with high gun ownership rates. The most insane figure the president threw out was that 400,000 Americans have been shot and killed since 9/11.
“That’s like losing the entire population of Cleveland or Minneapolis over the past 14 years,” said the president.