Reaction to Obama’s gun control proposals

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President Barack Obama speaks on proposals to reduce gun violence as Vice President Joe Biden watches on January 16, 2013 in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House in Washington, D.C. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama speaks on proposals to reduce gun violence as Vice President Joe Biden watches on January 16, 2013 in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House in Washington, D.C. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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Washington DC (AP) - President Barack Obama unveiled sweeping proposals to curb gun violence, including calls for Congress to pass universal background checks and an assault-weapons ban, plus 23 executive actions that don’t require congressional approval. Quotes about the proposals:

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“I have no illusions about what we’re up against or how hard the task is in front of us. … We should do as much as we can, as quickly as we can. And we cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” — Vice President Joe Biden.

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“I am committed to ensuring that the Senate will consider legislation that addresses gun violence and other aspects of violence in our society early this year.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

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“Nothing the president is proposing would have stopped the massacre at Sandy Hook. … Rather than sweeping measures that make it harder for responsible, law-abiding citizens to purchase firearms, we should focus on the root causes of gun violence and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.” — Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

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“There’s an extraordinary disconnect between what the American public wants — including gun owners and NRA members — and what our elected officials are doing about it.” — Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

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“There’s a slow-motion Sandy Hook going on in every community in America…. The center of the gun debate should not be Washington. It should be the streets of America, where …there’s a much deeper consensus than there is in the halls of Congress.” — Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

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“President Obama’s series of gun control measures amount to an executive power grab that may please his political base but will not solve the problems at hand.” — Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

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“We know we’re not going to eliminate all gun violence, but certainly diminish the possibility of having another Newtown. … I believe all the major law enforcement organizations will support the administration. So this is a good day.” — New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

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“I truly believe that the will of the people makes a difference, and I’m calling on everyone to have the courage to stand up and help us make that difference. We should never again visit a tragedy such as we had in Newtown, Conn. It’s time for us to make a change.” — E. Patricia Llodra, first selectwoman of Newtown, Conn.

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“We must take action. If you think that this cannot happen to you, and that you will never be touched by gun violence, you are fooling yourself.” — Sandy Phillips, mother of Jessica Ghawi, one of the 12 people killed last July at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.

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“My son is still partially paralyzed. You don’t think that when I see him, how I know his life was changed forever? Or not to have a husband?” — Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., whose husband was killed and son was wounded in a 1993 mass shooting on a train.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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