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'Newtown, We Will Not Walk Away From the Promises We Made'

President Obama took to the podium in Hartford after listening to an introductory speech by Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan was killed in the Newtown shootings.

 

In a sometimes fiery speech at the University of Hartford President Barack Obama lauded Connecticut for its passage of tough gun laws and said "Now it's the time for Congress to do the same." 

He also promised the families of the Newtown victims that he and the country has not forgotten their anguish or the promise that lawmakers made them and that he will continue to stand with them. 

"Newtown, we will not walk away from the promises we made," he said.

In particular, the president said Congress needs to address the issue of background checks for gun purchases, saying 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks and drawing laughter from the crowd when he added, "How often do 90 percent of Americans agree on anything?"

"It's time for Congress to act ... so people who are dangerous to themselves and others cannot get their hands on a gun," he added. "Yet some folks back in Washington are ... saying they'll do anything the can to even prevent votes on this."

Those comments prompted chants from the crowd of "We want a vote." 

"This is not about me. This is not about politics. This is about preventing this from happening again. This is not about politics. This is about these families."

He said politicians, like those here in Connecticut, need to start talking to one another, and "not past each other," on the issue of gun control. "Now's the time to push back on fear, frustration and misinformation." 

"The day Newtown happened was the toughest day of my presidency but I gotta tell you, if we don't respond to this, that will be a tough day too. We've got to expect more from ourselves and we've got to expect more from Congress. Every now and then we have to set politics aside and just do what's right."

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