In an exclusive interview on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” on NBC, President Barack Obama told moderator David Gregory he will put his “full weight” behind a comprehensive gun-regulation package — one that might even include placing armed guards in schools.
“My response is something has to work,” Obama said. “And you know, it is not enough for us to say this is too hard, so we’re not going to try. So what I intend to do is I will call all the stakeholders together. I will meet with the Republicans. I will meet with Democrats. I will talk to anybody. I think there are a vast majority of responsible gun owners out there who recognize that we can’t have a situation in which somebody with … severe psychological problems is able to get the kind of high-capacity weapons that this individual in Newtown obtained and gun down our kids. And, yes, it’s going to be hard.”
Obama didn’t explicitly rule out National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre’s recommendation that schools need armed guards. But he said public opinion would be important to achieve a solution he would put his “full weight behind.”
“You know, I’m not going to pre-judge the recommendations that are given to me,” Obama said. “I am skeptical that the only answer is putting more guns in schools. And I think the vast majority of the American people are skeptical that that is somehow is going to solve our problem. And, look, here’s the bottom line: We’re not going to get this done unless the American people decide it’s important. And so this is not going to be simply a matter of me spending political capital.”
“One of the things that you learn having now been in this office for four years is, you know, the old adage of Abraham Lincoln’s that with public opinion there’s nothing you can’t do,” Obama continued. “And without public opinion, there’s very little you can get done in this town. So I’m going to be putting forward a package, and I’m going to be putting my full weight behind it, and I’m going to be making an argument to the American people about why this is important and why we have to do everything we can to make sure that something like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary does not happen again.”
The president added that the issue hits close to home.
“his is something that — you know, that was the worst day of my presidency,” he said. “And it’s not something that I want to see repeated.”