Obama: Common sense steps consistent with Second Amendment could reduce gun violence

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WASHINGTON —President Barack Obama is challenging Congress to reinstate the assault weapons ban and make it harder for terrorist to kill Americans.

Obama spoke Tuesday after meeting with his National Security Council. Democrat Hillary Clinton has called for a similar ban, while Republican Donald Trump is opposing reinstatement of the ban.

The shooter in the Orlando attack, Omar Mateen, used a military-style assault weapon to blast away at an Orlando nightclub, killing 49 people.

The ban on semi-automatic assault weapons that expired in 2004. The large majority of Republicans in Congress and some pro-gun Democrats have opposed reinstatement of the ban.

During his press conference Tuesday afternoon, the president also said anti-Muslim rhetoric from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is “not the America we want.”

Obama argued that treating Muslim-Americans differently won’t make the U.S. safer. He said it will make the country less safe by fueling the notion among followers of the Islamic State group that the West hates Muslims.

This comes a day after presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump doubled down on his proposal to temporarily ban foreign Muslims from entering the U.S.

Obama said the U.S. was founded on freedom of religion and that there are no religious tests in America.

He said such talk makes Muslim-Americans feel like their government is betraying them.

Kylee Wierks - Web Producer June 14, 201612:21 pm

Obama: As Director Comey has said, we currently don’t have any information that leads us to believe this was coordinated outside the US

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Kylee Wierks - Web Producer June 14, 201612:22 pm

Obama: We are all sobered that despite the extraordinary work, something like Orlando can occur

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Kylee Wierks - Web Producer June 14, 201612:24 pm

Obama: So far we’ve taken out more than 120 top ISIL leaders and commanders.

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Kylee Wierks - Web Producer June 14, 201612:25 pm

Obama: ISIL has lost more than half of the controlled territory it had an Iraq.

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Kylee Wierks - Web Producer June 14, 201612:33 pm

Obama: If we really want to help law enforcement protect Americans from homegrown extremists… there is a meaningful way to do that. 

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Kylee Wierks - Web Producer June 14, 201612:36 pm

Obama: We have to make it harder for people who want to kill Americans to get their hands on weapons that can kill dozens of citizens.

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Kylee Wierks - Web Producer June 14, 201612:38 pm

Obama: People with possible ties to terrorism who aren’t allowed on a plane shouldn’t be allowed to buy a gun.

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Kylee Wierks - Web Producer June 14, 201612:38 pm

Obama: Enough about talking about being tough on terrorism; actually be tough on terrorism.

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Kylee Wierks - Web Producer June 14, 201612:39 pm

Obama: Otherwise, despite extraordinary efforts by law enforcement, these kind of events are going to keep happening.

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Kylee Wierks - Web Producer June 14, 201612:50 pm

Obama now talks about how he’s been criticized for not using the term “radical Islam.”

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Kylee Wierks - Web Producer June 14, 201612:50 pm

Obama: What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less likely to kill Americans?

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Kylee Wierks - Web Producer June 14, 201612:50 pm

Obama: Calling a threat by a different name doesn’t make it go away. This is a political distraction.

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Kylee Wierks - Web Producer June 14, 201612:51 pm

Obama: There’s no magic to the term ‘radical Islam.’ It’s a political talking point.

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