In his broadest remarks on gun control yet in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a Colorado movie theatre, President Barack Obama has called for tougher background checks designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.
The call came as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney caused a stir in Britain yesterday by questioning whether the country is prepared to pull off the Olympic Games without a hitch and scheduling a fundraiser with the former leader of a troubled bank.
On the first full day of his trip abroad, the former Massachusetts governor visited British political leaders as part of a larger effort to show he has what it takes to represent the U.S. on the world stage. Romney launched a three-nation tour this week designed to bolster his foreign policy credentials and highlight his personal Olympic experience. Romney led the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, and used the games to launch his political career.
“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,” Obama who has called for reimposing the Assault Weapons Ban, said in a speech to the National Urban League.
“I believe the majority of gun owners would agree that we should do everything possible to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons; that we should check someone’s criminal record before they can check out a gun seller.
The president also singled out youth violence, and warned that government can only do so much. “It’s up to us, as parents and as neighbors and as teachers and as mentors, to make sure our young people don’t have that void inside them,” he said.