Obama - "... what you said about murder rates and violent crime generally is something that we don’t celebrate enough. The fact of the matter is, is that violent crime has been steadily declining across America for a pretty long time. And you wouldn’t always know it by watching television, but overall, most cities are much safer than they were 10 years ago or 20 years ago.
Now, I’d challenge the notion that the reason for that is because there’s more gun ownership, because if you look at where are the areas with the highest gun ownership, those are the places, in some cases, where the crime rate hasn’t dropped down that much. And the places where there’s pretty stiff restrictions on gun ownership, in some of those places the crime has dropped really quickly. So I’m not sure that there’s a one-to-one correlation there.
But I think the most important point I want to make is that you will be able to purchase a firearm. Some criminals will get their hands on firearms even if there’s a background check. Somebody may lie on a form. Somebody will intend to commit a crime but they don’t have a record that shows up on the background check system.
But in the same way that we don’t eliminate all traffic accidents, but over the course of 20 years, traffic accidents get lower — there’s still tragedies, there’s still drunk drivers, there’s still people who don’t wear their seatbelts — but over time, that violence was reduced, and so families are spared. That’s the same thing that we can do with gun ownership." Times-Union
I thought CNN and Anderson Cooper did a remarkable job in trying to keep "the game" honest.
Obama gave it his best shot but I doubt that he moved "the needle" much in the direction he wants. His claque applauded on cue. Gifford's husband, the astronaut made appropriate remarks.
On the other hand there were many in the audience who stood respectfully when the president entered but did not applaud then or at any time during the discussion.
CNN's Anderson Cooper tried to question Obama but the man was clearly annoyed by that and actually more or less told Cooper to shut up at one point.
The opposition to Obama's desire to reduce access to guns by incremental measures was represented by 1- the "American Sniper" SEAL's widow. She made it clear that she does not trust the government with yet more power in the area of gun control. Remember, her husband was killed by a psychotic while shooting with the man on a gun range. 2- a sheriff who was unsympathetic to the idea of disarming people. He is presently running for Congress. 3- a married woman with children who was violently raped when a university student and who then became an advocate of gun ownership and self defense.
I thought some of Obama's data points were dubious and should be fact checked. An example would be his depiction of Indiana as a state devoid of gun sales checks. I looked this up. According to Indiana law, "... there are more specific regulations regarding the purchasing and selling of handguns. The transfer of a handgun is subject to a background check to be conducted by an authorized dealer at the time of purchase. " This is with regard to state background checks. There would also be a federal instant background check in any sale by an FFL holder. Evidently Obama was talking about un-licensed sales on a commercial basis. Well, pilgrims he should have said so. If Obama wants to make a case for expanding enforcement of licensing requirements to unlicensed commercial dealers he should do that without being deceptive. The deception makes people suspicious of his and his allies' intention with regard to actual private transfers.
IMO Obama missed an opportunity to make proposals that most people would support:
Keeping guns out of the hands of the truly mentally incompetent while protecting veterans and others from government mommyism in the matter. We have not forgotten Feinstein's statement that all combat veterans are mentally ill.