(CNN) - Days after the Colorado movie theater massacre, President Barack Obama on Wednesday forcefully spoke out against gun violence, making perhaps some of his strongest comments yet as president on the issue.
While the president said he stands by the Second Amendment and recognizes the traditions of hunting and gun ownership in the country, he told a crowd at a gathering for the National Urban League in New Orleans that there is work left to be done in tackling the problem.
"I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals," Obama said. "That they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.
(CNN) – President Barack Obama has been kept abreast of developments in the mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater which left at least a dozen dead, an administration official told CNN on Saturday. Homeland Security adviser John Brennan updated Obama overnight Friday and on Saturday regarding the investigation and authorities' efforts to disarm traps which had been set at the suspect's apartment, the official said. (read more)
(CNN) - In a speech after the Colorado shooting Friday, President Barack Obama asked Americans to pray, reflect and remember what's important in life while the city of Aurora mourned the dead and wounded.
"If there's anything to take away from this tragedy it's the reminder that life is very fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious. And what matters at the end of the day is not the small things, it's not the trivial things, which so often consume us and our daily lives," Obama said in Fort Myers, Florida, before returning to the White House.
But Friday's shootings are likely to propel the issue of gun rights and gun safety into the national conversation again, even though the president did not address it on Friday and has largely avoided the subject while in office.
Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, criticized Obama on Friday for steering clear of the issue in office.
"President Obama has refused to even talk about guns. In a speech today he didn't even say the word 'gun.' The closest he came was 'gunman,' "Vice said. "Unfortunately the president has shown a lack of leadership in standing up to the gun lobby."
Talk of gun rights was largely absent from Obama's speech in the aftermath of the Fort Hood shooting in 2009 and after then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others were shot in Tucson, Arizona, last year. Obama mentioned gun safety only in passing after the Tucson shootings to describe the polarizing nature of the issue.
However, amid renewed discussions, the president penned an opinion piece two months after the Tucson shootings that acknowledged the importance of the Second Amendment and called for a "focus" on "effective steps that will actually keep those irresponsible, law-breaking few from getting their hands on a gun in the first place." FULL POST
(CNN) – Void of politics, the weekly address of President Barack Obama and House speaker John Boehner coincided on Saturday, with each sending condolences to loved ones whose lives were cut short and those wounded in the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting.
Standing by for further details, both parties expressed regret over the massacre, agreeing to set politics aside in light of the incident.
"This weekend I hope everyone takes some time for prayer and reflection – for the victims of this terrible tragedy, for the people who knew them and loved them, for those who are still struggling to recover, and for all the victims of the less publicized acts of violence that plague our communities on a daily basis. Let us keep all these Americans in our prayers. And to the people of Aurora, may the Lord bring you comfort and healing in the hard days to come," said Obama.
House speaker John Boehner also weighed in on the tragedy.
"My plan today was to share some thoughts with you about the economy. But life, they say, is what happens when you're busy making other plans. There is still so much, too much, to sort out about the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. Words cannot capture the horror, or make sense of something so senseless. So I won't try. This much I know. I know that when confronted with evil we cannot comprehend, Americans pull together and embrace our national family more tightly," said Boehner. (read more at CNN Political Ticker)