On March 6, President Obama delivered remarks on the one-year anniversary of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative at a Town Hall at St. Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. In a Q&A session approximately one hour and seven minutes into the presentation, the president began demonstrating his command of the nation’s gun laws. Shooter’s Log readers may be surprised to learn that “it’s easier for you to buy a handgun and clips than it is for you to buy a fresh vegetable” in some neighborhoods, according to the president.
Here are excerpts from the speech, as provided by White House transcript, and their approximate time codes for the gun-related material if you want to watch the full C-Span video and see the president’s comments for yourself.
@ 1:07:44 But what we also have to recognize is, is that our homicide rates are so much higher than other industrialized countries. I mean by, by like a mile. And most of that is attributable to the easy, ready availability of firearms, particularly handguns.
@ 1:08:34 I personally believe that it is not violating anybody’s rights that if you want to purchase a gun, it should be, you know, at least your responsibility to get a background check so that we know you are not a violent felon, or that you don’t currently have a restraining order on you, you because you committed domestic abuse or — right now, we don’t know a lot of that. It’s just not available.
@ 1:10:02 So what we’ve done is we have tried as much as we can administratively to implement background checks and to make sure that we’re working with those states and cities and jurisdictions that are interested and willing to partner with us to crack down on the legal use of firearms, particularly handguns.
@ 1:10:36 In the absence of more, what I would consider, heroic and courageous stances from our legislators both at the state level and the federal level, it is hard to reduce the easy availability of guns. And as long as you can go into some neighborhoods and it is easier for you to buy a firearm than it is for you to buy a book, there are neighborhoods where it’s easier for you to buy a handgun and clips than it is for you to buy a fresh vegetable — as long as that’s the case, we’re going to continue to see unnecessary violence.
@ 1:11:36 But I’ll end by saying this. Despite those frustrations, despite the failure of Congress to act, despite the failure of too many state legislators to act — in fact, in some places it goes the opposite direction, people just say well, we should have firearms in kindergarten and we should have machine guns in bars. You think I’m exaggerating — I mean, you look at some of these laws that come up.