Candidates' approaches to availability of assault weapons
Part 9 of the second presidential debate
- Duration 8:59
- Date Oct 16, 2012
Part 9 of the second presidential debate
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President -- together for a second because I wanna unity she didn't -- Gonzales who up brought up a question that we hear a lot.
Both over the Internet and from this -- President Obama during the Democratic National Convention in 2008.
You stated you -- to keep AK forty -- at the hands of criminals.
What has your administration done or plan to do to limit the availability of assault weapons -- There -- a nation that believes in the Second Amendment and I believe in the second man.
Now we've got a long tradition of hunting.
And people wanna make sure that can protect themselves.
Durban too many instances during the course of my presidency where I've had to comfort.
Who've lost somebody most recently.
On the war.
A couple of weeks ago actually probably about a month.
A mother who I've met at the bedside of her son who'd been shot in that theater.
And her son had been shot through the head.
And we spent some time and we said a prayer.
About two months later this young man and his mom showed up and he looked unbelievable.
-- -- -- But there were a lot of fairways -- and have a good fortune.
Sons or daughters her husband's been survive.
So my belief is the bad -- we have to enforce the laws -- party got.
Make sure the work keeping guns out of the hands of criminals those work mentally ill.
We've done a much better job in terms of background checks but we've got more to do.
When it comes to enforcement.
But I also -- -- belief.
That weapons that were designed for soldiers.
In war theaters don't belong on our streets.
And so what I'm trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how -- we reduce the violence general part of it.
And seeing if we can get.
An assault weapons ban reintroduced but part of it is also.
Looking at other sources of the violence.
Because frankly in my hometown of Chicago there's an awful lot of violence and they're not using AK forty sevens they're using cheap handguns.
And so what can we do to intervene to make sure that young people have opportunity.
That our schools are working.
If there's violence on the streets that working with faith groups and law enforcement we can catch it before it gets out of control.
So what I want is a is a comprehensive strategy.
Part of it is seeing if we can get automatic weapons that kill folks.
Get in and amazing numbers out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill but part of it is also going deeper.
And seeing if we can get into these communities and making sure we catch a violent impulses before they occur on that question is about assault weapons -- what -- Yeah I'm not in favor of new pieces of legislation done on guns and and taking guns away your or making certain guns illegal we of course don't -- -- have automatic weapons and that's already illegal in this country to have.
What what I believe is we have to do is the president mentioned but towards the end of his remarks there which is to make it an enormous efforts to enforce the gun laws that we have.
And to change the culture of violence we have.
And -- -- how we gonna do that.
And there are a number of things he mentioned good schools I totally agree we were able to drive our schools to be number one in the nation in my state.
And I believe if we do a better job and education will will give people the the hope and opportunity they deserve and perhaps less violence from that but let me -- another thing.
And that -- parents.
-- -- mom's and dad's helping raise kids.
Wherever possible that the benefit of having two parents in the home and that's not always possible lot of great single -- single dance.
But -- to tell our kids that before they have babies they ought to think about getting married to someone that's a great idea.
Because if there's a two parent family.
The prospect of living in poverty goes down dramatically.
The opportunities that the child will will be able to achieve increased dramatically.
So what we can make changes in the way our our culture works to help bring people away from violence and give -- opportunity and bring them in the American system.
That the what the greatest failure we've had with regards to to gun violence in some respects is what what has ever known as fast and furious.
Which was a program.
Under this administration and how worked exactly I think we don't know precisely.
But where thousands of automatic and an AK -- -- 47 type weapons work we're given to people that ultimately did attempt to drug lords.
They use those weapons against.
-- against their own citizens and killed Americans with.
And this was that this was a program of the government for what purpose it was put in place I can't imagine.
But it's one of the great tragedies.
Related to violence in our society which is occurred during this administration which I think the American people would like to understand fully.
It's been investigated to a degree.
But but the administration has as a that -- carried out executive privilege to to prevent all the information from coming out I don't understand.
Who orders that did this what the idea what's behind it why it led to the violence thousands of guns going to Mexican drug dealers.
Governor -- could that the question was about these assault weapons that once were banned and are no longer.
I I know that you signed eight air assault weapons ban when -- Massachusetts obviously with this question -- you no longer do support that.
Why is that given the kind of violence that we see sometimes in these mass killings.
By -- it why is that that you change your mind.
Well -- actually in in my state.
The pro gun folks and the anti gun folks came together.
And put together piece of legislation.
And and it's referred to USA as the -- assault weapon ban but it had at the signing of the bill.
Both the pro gun and the anti gun people came together because it provided.
Opportunities for both of both want -- -- were hunting opportunities for instance that had previously been available and so forth so it was a mutually agreed upon piece of legislation.
That's we need more of candy.
What we have right now in Washington has a place that says.
So but we haven't -- it get you we have agreed to let it we have all right we have a -- we haven't had the leadership in Washington to work at a bipartisan basis I was able to do that in my state.
And bring these two together for them to present.
First of all I think governor Romney was for an assault weapons ban before he was against it.
And he said that the reason he changed his mind was in part because -- -- in the endorsement of the National Rifle Association.
So that's on Iraq.
But I think that one area we agree on is the importance of parents.
In the importance of schools.
Because I do believe that -- our young people.
Then they're less likely to engage in these kind of -- -- -- I can eliminate everybody who is mentally disturbed.
And we've got to make sure they don't get weapons but we can't make a difference in terms of ensuring that every young person America regardless of where they come from what they look like.
Have a chance to succeed and -- we haven't had a chance to talk about education much but I think it is very important to understand.
That the reforms we put in place working with 46 governors around the country.
-- seeing schools that are some of the ones that are the toughest.
For kids starting to succeed -- start to see gains in math and science.
When it comes to Community Colleges.
We are setting up.
Programs including -- Nassau community college to retrain workers including young people who may have dropped out of school but now are getting another chance.
Training them for the jobs that exist right now and infect employers are looking for skilled workers.
And so were matching them up.
Giving them access to higher education as I said we have made sure that millions of young people are able to get -- education they weren't able to get before now mr.
And I have to I have to move you along here that what you want out of it still doing it'll they'll do it here just once -- -- was because this is important this is part of the choice in this election.
When governor Romney was asked.
Whether teachers hiring more teachers was important to growing our economy.
They'll -- -- -- doesn't grow our economy.
The white wedding assessment of threats sadly I got here -- to -- I need to move arson Christian has gotten so let me let me just won't make during that and other terms of whether or not we can move this economy forward for these young I understand and reduce our file OK thank you so.