Obama Wants New Gun Control Legislation Next Year

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 30 2012 2:30 PM

Obama Vows To Put “Full Weight” Behind Gun Control Legislation Next Year

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Cindy Sparr shows a customer an AK-47 style rifle at Freddie Bear Sports sporting goods store in Tinley Park, Illinois

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Even though the fiscal cliff is the top issue in Washington these days, that doesn’t mean President Obama doesn’t have other things on his mind. During his Meet the Press interview Sunday, the president discussed several top priorities for the next four years but he discussed legislation to curb gun violence and immigration reform “with particular urgency,” points out NBC News. The president said he would put his “full weight” behind any legislation to prevent gun violence that the task force being led by Vice President Joe Biden will suggest. Obama described the Newtown, Conn. high school shooting as the worst day of his presidency “and it’s not something that I want to see repeated.” Although he recognized that “it’s going to be hard” he made it clear he will continue to push the public to demand change. “The question then becomes whether we are actually shook up enough by what happened here that it does not just become another one of these routine episodes where it gets a lot of attention for a couple of weeks and then it drifts away.” (Watch video of the interview after the jump.)

Obama also added he was “skeptical” of the NRA proposal to put armed guards in every school, saying most Americans don’t believe that “somehow is going to solve our problem.” Still, he emphasized he won’t “prejudge” any proposal that could help prevent mass shootings. Meanwhile, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on CNN Sunday that Newtown has changed the way people see the issue of gun violence and gun control, reports the Associated Press. The Washington Post runs down several recent polls that appear to illustrate how the Newtown shooting changed some attitude toward guns.

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Obama also emphasized that “fixing our broken immigration system is a top priority” for his administration, adding that he will introduce legislation in 2013 to address the issue. “I think we have talked about it long enough."

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.