Obama calls for more gun control

08:58, March 14, 2011      

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U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday used an Op-Ed article to call for more gun control, saying the country has a responsibility to do everything it can to put a stop to gun violence.

The article was published in the Arizona Daily Star, which covers the Southwestern state where U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords was critically wounded by a gunman more than two months ago. Six others lost their lives in that attack, and 12 more were injured.

Obama said although he "believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms," and his administration has not curtailed the rights of gun owners, the country must face "the awful reality that gun violence affects Americans everywhere, whether on the streets of Chicago or at a supermarket in Tucson."

"Our focus right now should be on sound and effective steps that will actually keep those irresponsible, law-breaking few from getting their hands on a gun in the first place," wrote Obama. He calls for more strict enforcement of National Instant Criminal Background Check System that serves as a filter to "stop the wrong people from getting their hands on a gun."

He also calls for reward to states that provide the best data to the system, as well as making the system faster and nimbler. " We should provide an instant, accurate, comprehensive and consistent system for background checks to sellers who want to do the right thing, and make sure that criminals can't escape it."

"There's more we can do to prevent gun violence. But I want this to at least be the beginning of a new discussion on how we can keep America safe for all our people," said the article.

Giffords is slowly recovering from the shooting. The suspect, 22-year-old Jared Loughner, has pleaded not guilty in federal court. Authorities described him as a mentally unstable college dropout who became obsessed with violence against Giffords.

Source: Xinhua

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