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Obama in Minneapolis: 'Now is the Time for Action'

Posted at: 02/04/2013 9:36 PM
Updated at: 02/04/2013 10:28 PM
By: Alan Hoglund
ahoglund@wdio.com

Reducing gun violence is one of, if not the top priority of President Barack Obama.

For the first time outside of Washington, in front of police officers and other members of law enforcement, Obama pushed his proposals for gun control while praising the recent efforts of Minneapolis to cut down on gun violence.

Minneapolis Police Chief and Duluth native Janee Harteau introduced Obama, but described gun violence in Minneapolis first. “In the last 13 months we've seen horrific incidents right in this neighborhood that have shocked this community to the core," she said. 

Chief Harteau remembered two young children killed by stray bullets and the September 2012 shooting at a sign company that left 6 people, and the shooter, dead.

But when Obama took the stage, he explained that it has been worse. Praising the work of law enforcement in Minneapolis, he said “when it comes to protecting our kids from gun violence, you have shown that progress is possible.”

In recent years, Obama said the number of young people injured by guns in the city has dropped by 40 percent. "That 40 percent means lives saved - parents whose hearts aren't broken," he said.

As he did in January, Obama called on Congress to take action. He reiterated his demand for a ban on military-style assault weapons, and 10-round limit on magazines.

Obama said it deserves a vote in Congress “because weapons of war have no place on our streets or in our schools or threatening our law enforcement officers."

It’ll take action from Congress, but Obama also wants help from the community. “We can only reduce violence if the American people demand it,” he said.

“Changing the status quo is never easy and this will be no exception.”

Obama said now is the time for action, adding that as a nation, we will not wait for more innocent Americans to be killed.