Obama calls for action on guns
29 March 2013, 11:26
Washington - US President Barack Obama on Thursday urged
lawmakers to take serious action against gun violence, telling Americans not to
forget the tragedy of the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut just months
"Tears aren't enough, expressions of sympathy aren't
enough," Obama said.
Congress is currently considering a bill that would
institute background checks on all gun purchases and punish those who buy
weapons with the intention of turning them over to criminals.
Obama also reiterated his calls for a ban on assault
weapons, which is not included in the main legislation to be considered by
Harry Reid, leader of the majority Democrats in the
Senate, did not include the proposal in the bill because he felt it was
unlikely to pass amid opposition from gun-rights advocates.
However, an assault weapons ban will likely be voted on
as an amendment to the main measure.
"There's absolutely no reason why we can't get this
done," Obama said.
"But the reason we're talking about it here today is
because it's not done until it's done. And there are some powerful voices on
the other side that are interested in running up a clock of changing the
subject or drowning out the majority of the American people to prevent any of
these reforms from happening at all."
He called on Americans to remember the shooting in
Newtown that left 20 children and six teachers dead just over three months ago,
saying the tragedy should be turned into action.
"Shame on us if we've forgotten. I haven't forgotten
those kids," he said.
Obama's message coincided with the release of details of
the police investigation into the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
The shooter, Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother in the
home they shared on 14 December, then went to the school in Newtown,
Connecticut and turned his gun on children and teachers.
The police documents show that he took his own life
within five minutes of shooting his way into the building, Connecticut state
attorney Stephen J Sedensky III said.
Lanza used a single weapon - a Bushmaster .223-caliber
rifle - to kill the children and school employees, then used a Glock 10
millimetre handgun to kill himself, the records show.
Investigators also found a loaded 12-gauge shotgun in the
car he drove to the school and shotgun ammunition.
Other details of the investigation reveal that Lanza had
a gun safe in his bedroom and had received a Christmas card from his mother
with a check inside for the purchase of a gun, according to a search warrant.
Details of the investigation also said police interviewed
a person who said that Lanza rarely left his home and was an avid gamer, who
played the computer war game Call of Duty.
A recent poll published by CNN shows public support for
major restrictions on guns or making all guns illegal has declined from 52%
immediately after the shooting to 43% now.