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Obama calls for violence to end after shootings in Colo., Wisc.

August 08, 2012|By Kathleen Hennessey
  • President Obama delivers remarks during a campaign event Auraria Event Center in Denver.
President Obama delivers remarks during a campaign event Auraria Event… (Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images )

DENVER – Speaking just miles from the scene of the Colorado movie theater shooting, President Obama said Americans needed “to put an end” to “senseless” violence that killed 12 in Aurora and six at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, although he offered no specific solutions.

“I think we can all acknowledge we’ve got to put an end to this kind of senseless violence,” Obama told a campaign rally in Denver on Wednesday.

"Whether in Aurora, whether it’s in Oak Creek, whether it’s in Tucson, whether it’s in cities all across America where too many lives are cut short because of senseless violence – this is going to have to stop," he said. "And as an American family, as one American family, we’re going to have to come together and look at all the approaches that we can take to try to bring an end to it.”

Since the back-to-back shootings, Obama has called for soul searching on the issue of violence, but made no forceful push for new laws. White House aides have noted that the president supports reinstating a ban on the sale of assault weapons but sees no sign that Congress is moving toward action.

In his remarks at the rally aimed at women voters, Obama did not say the word “gun.”

Obama's stop in Denver was his first since he visited with the families of victims and some of those wounded in the July 20 shooting rampage. Days later, in an address to the National Urban League convention in New Orleans, he said that even though he believed "that the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms," he thought "that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals," and "on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities."

A newly released Quinnipiac University poll, conducted for CBS News and the New York Times, found that 50% of Colorado voters thought laws covering the sale of guns should be kept the same, while 38% said they should be more strict. But the poll also found that 58% of those voters favor a nationwide ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines. Police recovered a 100-round magazine at the Aurora shooting.  

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kathleen.hennessey@latimes.com

Michael A. Memoli in the Washington bureau contributed to this report.

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