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Obama in Minneapolis: Gun Control is About Saving Lives

President called on voters to pressure their legislators to pass gun control measures.

Speaking to a crowd of local dignitaries and law enforcement officers on Monday, President Barack Obama called on voters to pressure Congress to act on curbing gun violence.

"We've suffered too much pain to stand by and do nothing," he said. 

"We don't have to agree on everything to agree it's time to do something," he added.

What did the Twin Cities think about Obama's visit on social media?

Adopting universal background checks, banning military-style assault weapons, limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds, and putting more police officers on the street are "common sense," bipartisan measures to reduce gun violence, the President said. He also repeated other proposals to expand access to mental health care for young people.

Several gun control measures echoing Obama's proposals are currently before the Minnesota Legislature.

Want to see the whole thing? Catch a replay of Obama's speech.

Obama made clear why he picked Minneapolis as a backdrop to his speech, and why he picked politicians, community leaders, and law enforcement officers from the Twin Cities for a private round table discussion before his speech.

"This city came together" after a particularly violent period that earned the city the nickname "Murderapolis," he said. "You launched a series of youth initiatives that reduced the number of young people injured by guns by 40 percent. You've shown progress is possible."

That drop, he said, meant more "parents whose hearts aren't broken, communities that aren't terrorized."

The success of the city's Youth Violence Prevention initiative has come under fire from Minneapolis City Council member and mayoral candidate Gary Schiff for being overstated.

The President pushed voters to put pressure on their legislators to pass his package of gun control proposals.

"Weapons of war have no place on our streets or in our schools, or threatening our law enforcement officers," Obama said.

"There is no government plot to take away guns," he added later in his speech.

Following the president's speech, Hennepin County Sherrif Richard Stanek issued a press release supporting Obama's proposals and urging more stringent background checks to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

"Gun ownership isn’t a privilege, it’s a right guaranteed by the Constitution,” said Stanek. “We have an access problem; people already prohibited by law from owning or buying a gun should never have access to firearms.” 

St. Louis Park gun control advocate Sami Rahamim, son of slain Accent Signage owner Reuven Rahamim, praised the president's speech in an interview with Patch following the event. Since late 2012, Rahamim has lobbied Minnesota's state legislators to pass a package of gun control measures. 

"It still takes a lot of effort, and there are lots of important conversations ahead," he said. "We do have common ground: we all have the right to be safe in our communities."

Susan February 15, 2013 at 11:54 PM
Nick, you are making some unjustified claims. As I mentioned above, I think the president and our state leaders have overreached on this entire issue, but all of our presidents have used executive orders and President Obama is not even close to being on the list of the top ten of those presidents who used it most. Of-course Congress is there to balance the executive branch, but they weren't "balancing it" they were blocking it. They have done it over and over, ad nauseum, and in ways that have not been done before. Why do you think that their approval rating is so darn low?...even with Republicans! Sometimes (most often) when one faces constant obstruction, one will find a way around the obstruction. It has happened since George Washington, and just because you don't like this particular agenda does not mean that we will soon be under the rule of a king and/or that the man thinks you are bad or stupid. Believe me, I think it would be wrong to ban these guns, but just to be clear, the second amendment does not say "whatever arms you want", it says "keep and bear arm, shall not be infringed". If you have any argument at all, it's with the background check, and most of the country will fight you on that one...according to polls anyway. For your review: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_federal_executive_orders
Susan February 16, 2013 at 12:15 AM
Jim, I'm not sure I understand. Did you mean the 18th post from the top? That's a Facebook link that doesn't work.
Susan February 16, 2013 at 12:30 AM
Thanks for your thoughtful feedback, Marc. Just to be clear, I read about this when reading some other articles in reference to gun laws and the second amendment. I Googled it and this was the first link that came up. After searching for about one more second, I found the Wiki article which does give a little more background: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militia_Acts_of_1792
Jim Flaherty February 16, 2013 at 10:56 AM
Lets try this, H.F. No. 237, as introduced - 88th Legislative Session (2013-2014) Posted on Jan 31, 2013 H.F. No. 238, as introduced - 88th Legislative Session (2013-2014) Posted on Jan 31, 2013 H.F. No. 239, as introduced - 88th Legislative Session (2013-2014) Posted on Jan 31, 2013 H.F. No. 240, as introduced - 88th Legislative Session (2013-2014) Posted on Jan 31, 2013 H.F. No. 241, as introduced - 88th Legislative Session (2013-2014) Posted on Jan 31, 2013 H.F. No. 242, as introduced - 88th Legislative Session (2013-2014) Posted on Jan 31, 2013 H.F. No. 243, as introduced - 88th Legislative Session (2013-2014) Posted on Jan 31, 2013 H.F. No. 244, as introduced - 88th Legislative Session (2013-2014) Posted on Jan 31, 2013
Gerald Mortenson February 18, 2013 at 12:41 AM
The Minnesota Model for background checks works: there is no need to change it. The "assualt weapon" terminology is third riech propoganda: sadly it worked in the 1930's and is thrown before us again. A lie is a lie is a lie. Pompous political asses can prop it, spice it, speak it loudly, speak it often but it is neo-fascist mind contol. I would remind readers and officials our constitution is more than a piece of paper. It must stand.

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