Reaction to Obama’s gun control proposals

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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