March 28 - Surrounded by mothers of shooting victims, U.S. President Barack Obama said ''we have a obligation to try'' regarding gun control efforts he's put before Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. President Barack Obama delivered an emotional plea to Congress on Thursday (March 28) to pass his gun-control agenda, which includes universal background checks for gun-buyers. Obama spoke from the East Room of the White House while surrounded by gun-control activists and the mothers of shooting victims. He urged Americans not to forget the horrific elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut three months ago, saying that something must be done to prevent future tragedies. "If there is a step we can take that will save just one child, just one parent, just another town from experiencing the same grief that some of the moms and dads who are here have endured, then we should be doing it. We have an obligation to try," Obama said. Obama also took aim at certain lawmakers on Capitol Hill, reminding them that 90 percent of the American public, as well as 80 percent of Republicans, support background checks for gun-buyers, leaving no excuse for not passing stricter gun-control measures. "There is absolutely no reason why we can't get this done," Obama said. "But the reason we are talking about it here today is because it is not done until it is done. And there are some powerful voices on the other side that are interested in running out the clock or changing the subject or drowning out the majority of the American people to prevent any of these reforms from happening at all. They are doing everything they can to make all our progress collapse under the weight of fear and frustration, or their assumption is that people will just forget about it." Obama's remarks came on a "National Day to Demand Action," in which dozens of gun-control advocacy groups held events across the country to pressure lawmakers to vote for universal background checks. The Senate is set to begin debate on Obama's gun-control legislation in early April.