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Obama rallies support for gun control in Connecticut


08:38, April 09, 2013

WASHINGTON, April 8 (Xinhua)-- U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday kicked out his week of gun control campaign in Connecticut which is still feeling the pain of a December shooting massacre, and will bring back families of the victims to the capital to join the gun control lobby.

Obama made his high-profile gun control speech in Hartford, Connecticut after he met survivors, families and first responders of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting, which claimed the lives of 20 school children and six educators last December.

"Newtown, we want you to know that we're here with you. We will not walk away from the promises we've made. We are as determined as ever to do what must be done. In fact, I'm here to ask you to help me show that we can get it done," said Obama.

Obama made a fresh plea for the public to push lawmakers to bring up gun control bills for debate.

"As soon as this week, Congress will begin debating common- sense proposals to reduce gun violence. But Congress is only going to act on them if they hear from you -- the American people."

After the speech, Obama will fly 11 family members of the victims of the Newtown shooting on Air Force One, the presidential plane, to Washington. They had planned to travel to Washington earlier on Monday but were invited to join Obama's speech. In the capital, they will join the lobby efforts to urge Congress to move on gun violence reduction legislation.

"Imagine what they would say to the families of victims in Newtown about why a certain measure never came to a vote because they filibustered it," said White House spokesman Jay Carney at the daily briefing.

President Barack Obama is currently trying to build momentum for gun control legislation at the national level through a series of public events.

Democrats in the U.S. Senate are expected to bring up a comprehensive gun violence reduction bill later this month. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided to drop the renewal of the federal assault weapons ban in the whole package, which signaled the measure still lacked enough support in Congress. Measures are expected to include providing more school safety aid, expanding federal background checks on gun sales and strengthening prosecution of illegal gun traffickers.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed a strict and sweeping gun control legislation last Thursday, nearly four month after the Newtown tragedy shocked the United States and renewed the gun control debate nationwide.

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