With the nation still reeling from the Aurora movie shooting which claimed the lives of 12 people and wounded 58 others, President Barack Obama had no choice but to discuss the issue of gun control while giving a speech to the National Urban League in New Orleans.
On Wednesday, Obama called for a "common sense" approach to assault rifle sales in light of Friday's mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., saying no "mentally unbalanced individual" should be able to get their hands on such weapons.
Obama told the National Urban League:
"I, like most Americans, believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms…I think we recognize the traditions of gun ownership that passed on from generation to generation. That hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage."
"But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals. That they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities. I believe the majority of gun owners would agree we should do everything possible to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons, and we should check someone's criminal record before they can check out a gun seller."
The President said he is willing to work with lawmakers in both parties and called for new restrictions barring mentally unstable people from purchasing weapons.
The President didn’t end there. His focus turned to education, urging American youths to put down the video games, turn off The Real Housewives and focus harder on their studies:
"You're competing against young people in Beijing and Bangalore..You know they're not hanging out. They're not getting over. They're not playing video games. They're not watching 'Real Housewives.' I'm just saying, it's a two-way street."
Gun control and education will surely be a hot button issues come election time.