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Wednesday 13.12.2017 | Name days: Veldze, Lūcija

Obama in emotional plea for gun bill vote in Congress

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Barack Obama

Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama appeared to fight back tears as he urged lawmakers to vote on gun control legislation that appears to be stalling in Congress.

Speaking in Connecticut where 26 people died in a December school massacre, Mr Obama said citizens must demand action.

Opinion polls have shown a majority of Americans support a ban on assault weapons and other gun control measures. But gun rights groups, including the National Rifle Association, have been lobbying politicians against the bill, BBC reported.

“The day Newtown happened was the toughest day of my presidency,” Mr Obama said in his speech at Hartford, not far from Newtown, scene of the mass shooting four months ago.

There were tears in Mr Obama’s eyes as he described Newtown parent Nicole Hockley, who has said every night she asks her six-year-old son Dylan to come to her in her dreams so she can see him again.

“If there’s even one thing we can do to prevent a father from having to bury his child, isn’t that worth fighting for?” Mr Obama asked, amid repeated standing ovations from the crowd.

The Democratic president called for a vote on his three gun legislation priorities – strengthening background checks on gun buyers, limiting the size of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds, and a ban on assault weapons.

But the US Senate recently ditched the proposed ban on assault weapons and on high-capacity magazines, saying there was not enough support for the measure.

On Monday, the president said curbing gun violence was more important than partisan politics.

“Connecticut, this is not about me,” Mr Obama said. “This is not about politics. This is about doing the right thing for all the families who are here that have been torn apart by gun violence.”

Eleven parents of young children who were killed in the Newtown school shooting returned to Washington DC with the president aboard his official plane, Air Force One. They are due to lobby members of Congress who have not yet backed the gun control bill.

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