*With the horror in Aurora, Colorado still fresh in people’s minds, violence on the streets of America’s urban cities robbing youngsters of right to live a normal life and education taking a hit because of that violence and distractions such as “reality TV, President Obama addressed those issues and more in an impressive speech to the Urban League meeting in New Orleans.
In one of his most expansive responses yet to gun crime, the president on Wednesday embraced some degree of control on the sale of weapons but said he would also seek a national consensus on combating violence. He said responsibility for curtailing bloodshed 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 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., 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 unbalanced 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.”
Obama’s speech represented a bookend to a four-day trip that began in Colorado on Saturday when he visited with survivors of the theater massacre.
For Obama, the address to the National Urban League was a necessary overture to a voting bloc that overwhelmingly backs him but that has sustained much of the brunt of the economic downturn.
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