Apr 3, 2013 8:20 PM by Matt Stafford
In front of law enforcement officers at the Denver Police Academy Wednesday, President Barack Obama took to the stage to recognize new gun laws passed by the Colorado Legislature as well as push for more.
The President mentioned multiple times two of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history that were both experienced in Colorado - at Columbine High School nearly 14 years ago, and at the Century 16 movie theatre in Aurora last year. Before Wednesday's speech the President met with the mother of one of the Aurora theatre shooting victims - 24-year-old Jessica Ghawi. Law enforcement officers and community leaders had a chance to speak with the President before his speech as well.
"I don't believe weapons designed for theaters off war have a place in movie theaters; most Americans agree with that," the President said. "The type of assault rifle used in Aurora, for example, when paired with a high-capacity magazine, has one purpose; to pump out as many bullets as possible, as fast as possible. It's what allowed that gunman to shoot 70 people and kill 12 in a matter of a few minutes."
Along with assault weapons, the President focused in on background checks. Background checks were mentioned more than any other legislative change he seeks.
"These enhanced background checks wont stop all gun crimes, but they will certainly help prevent some," President Obama said.
As the crowd in Denver prepared to hear the from the President, sheriffs from across Colorado joined together in protest of the gun control measures passed in the state. One sheriff, Justin Smith of Larimer County, told the Associated Press that Obama's visit was a "slap in the face to all Coloradans."
The President acknowledge resistance to some of the changes that he wants, but on many occasions he said most of what he wants is supported by a majority of Americans. He also talked about trying to find ways to get past the heated rhetoric the country is having about guns, and move towards a more civil and educated debate.
"I'm here because I believe there doesn't have to be a conflict in reconciling these realities," the President said. "There doesn't have to be a conflict between protecting our citizens and protecting our second amendment rights."
Even with all that the President says he wants to see changed when it comes to guns, he acknowledged that nothing will happen unless the American people want it and make their opinions known to their elected representatives.