Obama Answers To Chicagoans Worried About Gun Violence
By Kate Shepherd in News on Jan 8, 2016 5:45PM
President Discusses Executive Action On Guns via Getty Images
Chicago gun violence was the focus on a live CNN town hall with President Barack Obama, who fielded questions and concerns by Chicagoans.
"Back in 2007, 2008, when I was campaigning, I'd leave Chicago—a city which is wonderful, I couldn't be more proud of my city—but where every week there's a story about a young person getting shot," Obama said in his town hall at George Mason University, according to the Tribune. "Some are gang members with turf battles or sometimes innocent victims. Sometimes this happened a few blocks from my house, and I live in a pretty good neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago."
The Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Catholic Church, was one of the locals to ask Obama tough questions about gun control.
"It's easier to get a gun in my neighborhood than it is a computer," Pfleger said. "The reality is because many of those guns have been bought legally. ... I don't understand why we can't title guns just like cars. If I have a car and I give it to you, Mr. President, and I don't transfer a title and you're in an accident, it's on me."
Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, whose daughter, Hadiya, was shot and killed near Obama's Chicago home in 2013, wondered how guns can be kept out of the hands of criminals and asked about laws restricting sales across state lines.
Obama noted that Chicago has had strict gun laws but still grapples with widespread gun violence, which he blamed on lax gun laws in neighboring Indiana.
Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, whose daughter, Hadiya, was shot and killed days after performing in Obama's inaugural festivities in 2013, asked how "guns can be kept out of the hands of criminals and asked about laws restricting sales across state lines", according to the Tribune.
Despite Chicago's strict gun laws, the violence hasn't stopped because of Indiana's lax gun laws, Obama told Pendleton.
Local teen Tre Bosley told the president that "most of us aren't thinking of life on a long-term scale."
Obama responded to Bosley:
When I see you, I think about my own youth because I wasn't that different from you. Probably not as articulate and maybe more of a goof-off. But the main difference was, I was in a more forgiving environment. If I screwed up, I wasn't at risk of getting shot. I'd get a second chance. There were a bunch of people looking out for me and there weren't a lot of guns on the streets.
And that's how all kids should be growing up, wherever they live. My main advice to you is keep being an outstanding role model to the young ones who come up behind you, keep listening to your mom, work hard and get an education."
"Guns in America" was hosted by CNN's Anderson Cooper and featured in addition to the president, Taya Kyle, widow of "American Sniper" Chris Kyle, and former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.