Obama: U.S. will be ‘judged’ on guns

January 17, 2013

Obama signs gun control executive order
President Obama set up the first major fight of his second term on Wednesday as he vowed to directly confront gun rights supporters and called on average Americans to back him in his bid to limit ammunition and semi-automatic firearms sales, expand background checks to all gun purchases and encourage doctors to ask certain patients whether they own guns.

Speaking little more than a month after the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Mr. Obama unveiled his proposals surrounded by victims’ families and four children who had written him letters fearing they or their families could be the next targets of gun violence.

“This is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe,” Mr. Obama said. “This is how we will be judged. And their voices should compel us to change.

“If there’s even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there’s even one life we can save, we have an obligation to try it.”

Mr. Obama signed executive directives with 23 steps that he said his administration can take without action by Congress, including better information-sharing among federal agencies, educating gun owners on safety and assuring doctors that they can legally ask patients whether they own firearms.

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