President Barack Obama is speaking out against the Republican Party for its lack of leadership during the 2016 presidential election and its lacklustre efforts to tackle gun violence.
Obama spoke out at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday evening, where he called for a “responsible” response to gun violence, and urged lawmakers to enact legislation to help prevent further shootings.
“We’re all human beings, and I’m a human being too.
And we’re all vulnerable,” Obama said, adding that gun violence is not a partisan issue.
“It is not just an issue for Republicans.
It’s an issue we all face.”
The president added that Republicans should not “ignore the fact that guns are part of our culture.
They are part and parcel of who we are as Americans.””
We’ve got to take a strong stand against this kind of gun violence and we can’t do it without taking a strong stance against the NRA, because they are responsible for it.
They’re responsible for this violence.
We have to be able to get guns off the streets.
And I’m going to keep working with Congress to do just that,” Obama added.
During the speech, Obama also highlighted his own gun violence prevention work, calling on Congress to pass legislation to give states more control over the manufacture, sale, and ownership of guns.
Obama has been calling on gun owners to come out in force to protest the NRA’s efforts to overturn gun control measures passed by the federal government and passed in states.
In the speech delivered Monday, Obama called on lawmakers to pass a “serious and effective” package of gun control legislation.
“We can’t let the NRA take advantage of this moment in time,” Obama continued.
“That’s why we’re here.
That’s why the American people need you, and we need you here.”
The speech comes amid a push to take control of the gun industry after the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment to the Constitution grants the right to own firearms, the most popular gun in the U.S. with about 75 million people owning guns.
A federal judge in December ordered that the NRA cease operating in the wake of the court ruling, which left Congress to act on the issue.
The NRA has appealed the ruling.
Obama was asked during the speech if he would still be president if the NRA were allowed to continue operating in some form.
“I am a man whose job is to make sure we do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them, and who will do everything in my power to prevent them from ever being in those hands again,” Obama responded.
“And I will fight every single day to make that happen.”
In a press conference following the speech on Monday, NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre praised the president, saying that the president has spoken about his opposition to gun control in a “very direct way.”
“He has spoken out, I think, in a very direct way against the gun lobby, and he is taking a very strong stand on this,” LaPierre said.