After promising to avoid using the Colorado movie theater shooting to make a play for stricter gun controls earlier in the week, the White House seems to have reversed course on the issue. President Obama, in a speech to the National Urban League on Wednesday, addressed his belief that there must be tougher background checks in place to keep weapons out of the hands of the criminally insane.
“When there is an extraordinarily heartbreaking tragedy like the one we saw, there’s always an outcry immediately after for action. And there’s talk of new reforms, and there’s talk of new legislation,” Obama said in his speech. “And too often, those efforts are defeated by politics and by lobbying and eventually by the pull of our collective attention elsewhere.”
“I believe the majority of gun owners would agree that we should do everything possible to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons; that we should check someone’s criminal record before they can check out a gun seller; that a mentally unbalanced individual should not be able to get his hands on a gun so easily,” the President said. “These steps shouldn’t be controversial. They should be common sense.”
In his speech, the President also spoke about reinstating a ban on certain types of military grade semi-automatic weapons.
“A lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals — that they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities,” said Obama.