Speaking at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Phoenix Awards on Saturday, Pres. Obama said that he would “go back at” attempts to institute new gun control laws following the recent shooting at a naval yard in Washington, D.C.
“We fought a good fight earlier this year, but we came up short, and that means we've got to get back up and go back at it,” Obama said.
“As long as there are those who fight to make it as easy as possible for dangerous people to get their hands on guns, then we've got to work as hard as possible for the sake of our children ... to do more work to make it harder.”
The administration pressed Congress to institute new gun laws, including universal background checks, at the beginning of the year following the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Conn. in which 20 children and six adults were killed.
The legislation, including universal background checks and an assault weapons ban, failed to pass in Congress.
On Monday, Aaron Alexis, a former Navy reservist and contractor, is believed to have opened fire at a naval yard in Washington, D.C.
Gun control proponents used the shooting to call for new gun restrictions.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D.-Calif., one of the strongest proponents for gun control who also introduced the assault weapons ban, issued a statement only a few hours after the shooting criticizing Congress for “shirking its responsibility” in not instituting new gun laws and asking, “When will enough be enough?”
In an interview with George Stephanopoulos that aired on ABC last Sunday, only a day before the naval yard shooting, Obama addressed the gun control issue, stating that “80-90%” of Americans want stricter laws.
But according to a new poll from Gallup, only 49 percent of Americans think gun laws should be stricter. Only 40 percent believe that easy access to guns is responsible for recent mass shootings, which is down six percent from two years ago. Forty-eight percent believe that “[f]ailure of the mental health system to identify individuals who are a danger to others” is “a great deal to blame,” which is the same number as Gallup found in 2011. This makes “the mental health system the perceived top cause of mass shootings.”