FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – In a powerful speech Monday at the University of Hartford, President Barack Obama implored Congress to follow the 90 percent of Americans who support universal background checks for people looking to buy guns.
The president’s visit to the college came a week after the Connecticut General Assembly passed the stiffest gun laws in the country, including stronger language on background checks.
“Niney percent of Americans support universal background checks. … How often do 90 percent of Americans agree on anything?” Obama said during his Monday afternoon speech. “We have to tell Congress that it’s time to require a background check for anyone who wants to buy a gun.”
This week, Congress will have several proposals on gun legislation from the president to debate, from instituting universal background checks to restoring the ban on military assault-style weapons.
“Connecticut, this is not about me. This is not about politics, this is about doing the right thing for all the families right here that have been torn apart by gun violence,” Obama said “This is about these families and families all cross this country who are saying let’s make it a little harder for our kids to get gunned down.”
Obama said that since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut, New York, Maryland and Colorado have introduced new gun legislation. That shows, he said, that “we can pass common-sense laws that can protect our rights and protect our kids.”
The president was introduced by Nicole Hockley, the mother of Dylan, who died at Sandy Hook. She asked the crowd for help in convincing the Senate that now is the time for change with “love and logic.”
“What law-abiding citizen, gun owner or not, does not want to address this,” Hockley said. “Help this be the moment when real change begins.”
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy spoke earlier in the afternoon, saying he was proud to join the president in the push for stronger gun legislation.
“We need universal checks for all gun sales in the United States of America. I don’t care what the NRA says. I don’t care what other people say. We’ve got to do it in our nation,” Malloy said.
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