“Happy New Year, everybody. I am fired up for the year that stretches out before us. That’s because of what we’ve accomplished together over the past seven,” said President Obama in his final weekly address for 2015.
He then listed some of his administration accomplishments over the last seven years accordingly:
Sixty-Nine consecutive months of bullish job employment, resulting in a dramatic decrease in unemployment from a high of 10% to the current low of 5%.
Provide health insurance coverage for 17 million people, thus dropping the rate of the uninsured below 10% for the very first time.
Reduced oil imports, a booming clean energy industry, and now a global leader in the fight against climate change.
A change from only two states in which there were marriage equality to now 50 states.
“All of this progress is because of you. And we’ve got so much more to do. So my New Year’s resolution is to move forward on our unfinished business as much as I can. And I’ll be more frequently asking for your help. That’s what this American project is all about,” said the President.
“That’s especially true for one piece of unfinished business, that’s our epidemic of gun violence,” he remarked.
In addition, the President reflected on some of the wanton attacks on innocent people through gun violence that have robbed them of loved ones, friends, and family members.
He bemoaned the fact that to date Congress has done nothing to prevent what happened to the victims from happening to other families.
“Three years ago, a bipartisan, commonsense bill would have required background checks for virtually everyone who buys a gun. Keep in mind, this policy was supported by some 90% of the American people. It was supported by a majority of NRA households. But the gun lobby mobilized against it. And the Senate blocked it,” President Obama lamented.
He also noted that since then tens of thousands of Americans have been mowed down by gun violence.
“Tens of thousands, each time, we’re told that common sense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, so we shouldn’t do anything.”
“We know that we can’t stop every act of violence. But what if we tried to stop even one? What if Congress did something – anything – to protect our kids from gun violence? ” he questioned.
The President concluded that he will be doing everything within his powers to ensure that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is protected but at the same time keep guns away from people who are deemed irresponsible and dangerous but also seek to inflict harm on a massive scale on others.
Davy Desmond, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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