US President Barack Obama said in an interview broadcast yesterday that he hopes to get new US gun-control measures passed during the first year of his second term and is sceptical of a proposal by the National Rifle Association (NRA) to put armed guards in schools.
Obama assigned vice-president Joe Biden to lead a task force to come up with proposals on guns at the beginning of 2013 after the massacre of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, this month.
“I’d like to get it done in the first year. I will put forward a very specific proposal based on the recommendations that Joe Biden’s task force is putting together as we speak. And so this is not something that I will be putting off,” Obama told NBC.
“I am not going to prejudge the recommendations that are given to me. I am sceptical that the only answer is putting more guns in schools. And I think the vast majority of the American people are sceptical that that somehow is going to solve our problem.”
The NRA has said new gun laws are not a good answer and called for some form of armed guards to be present in all schools.
Obama, who said the shooting was the worst day of his presidency, promised he would take swift action to prevent further massacres from being repeated.
Obama has faced criticism for failing to take on the gun lobby after other mass shootings that have occurred in his time in office. While bristling at the criticism, he indicated that this time something will get done.
Proponents of tighter gun laws hope that not having to run for re-election will give Obama a strengthened hand in passing gun-control laws, but any legislative measures would have to pass the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
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