President Obama Says Gun Lobbyist Holds Congress Hostage

In a town hall meeting held in Elkhart, Indiana, for PBS NewsHour, President Obama took questions from the audience after the broadcast.

Photo Credit: President Obama.
Photo Credit: President Obama.

In his exchange with the audience, Doug Rhude, a member of the audience and a gun shop owner, challenged President Obama’s record on gun control.

Rhude argued that irresponsible people in our society are accountable for actions such as drinking and driving without having cars taken away from “the good guys,” and then posed the question, “why then do you and Hillary want to control and restrict and limit gun manufacturers, gun owners and responsible use of guns and ammunition to the rest of us, the good guys, instead of holding the bad guys accountable for their actions?”

President Obama laid his card on the table in a forthright response to the question.

He said, “First of all, the notion that I or Hillary or Democrats or whoever you want to choose are hell-bent on taking away folks’ guns is just not true.”

Furthermore, he said, “And I don’t care how many times the NRA says it. I’m about to leave office. There have been more guns sold since I have been president than just about any time in U.S. history. There are enough guns for every man, woman and child in this country. And at no point have I ever, ever proposed confiscating guns from responsible gun owners. So it’s just not true.”

In addition, the President noted, “What I have said is precisely what you suggested, which is, why don’t we treat this like every other thing that we use? I just came from a meeting today in the Situation Room in which I got people who we know have been on ISIL Web sites, living here in the United States, U.S. citizens, and we’re allowed to put them on the no-fly list when it comes to airlines, but because of the National Rifle Association, I cannot prohibit those people from buying a gun.”

As gun violence becomes more and more prevalent in the U.S., the president has wrestled with Congress to no avail in bringing about common sense gun control.

Although limited in what he can do without the approval of Congress, President Obama has taken executive action to fix this problem.

He unveiled his plan to cut gun violence in January, accusing the gun lobby of holding Congress hostage.

The president wrapped up his answer to question by telling Rhude that there is a way for commonsense gun laws to exist: “The only way we’re going to do that is if we don’t have a situation in which anything that is proposed is viewed as some tyrannical destruction of the Second Amendment.”

Nigel Belle, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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