Following mass shootings in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, President Barack Obama told supporters to “go back at it” and pursue gun-control measures during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual awards dinner on Saturday.
Congress previously rejected Obama’s proposals to restrict sales of certain types of guns and require greater background checks. Gun-rights groups opposed the measures, saying they would infringe on Americans’ constitutional rights, according to Reuters.
“We fought a good fight earlier this year, but we came up short, and that means we’ve got to get back up and go back at it,” Obama said at the awards dinner.
Fox News reports that Obama used the occasion of his keynote speech to make his first public comments about this week's pair of shootings that took place in both of Obama’s hometowns.
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“Tomorrow night I’ll be meeting in mourning with families in this city who now know the same unspeakable grief of families in Newtown and Aurora and Tucson and Chicago and New Orleans and all across the country, people whose loved ones were torn from them without headlines sometimes or public outcry,” Obama said.
The White House said after Monday’s shooting that Obama is using his executive authority to tighten access to guns and remains committed to strengthening gun laws, including requiring background checks for sales online and at gun shows.
“As long as there are those who fight to make it as easy as possible for dangerous people to get their hands on guns, then we’ve got to work as hard as possible for the sake of our children ... to do more work to make it harder,” Obama stated.