Transcript: Obama's Remarks On Gun Violence

And the recommendations we provided to the president on Monday call for executive actions he could sign, legislation he could call for and long-term research that should be undertaken. They're based on the emerging consensus we heard from all the groups with whom we spoke, including some of you who were the victims of this godawful occurrence, ways to keep guns out of the wrong hands as well as ways to take comprehensive action to prevent violence in the first place. We should do as much as we can as quickly as we can, and we cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

So some of what you will hear from the president will happen immediately. Some will take some time. But we have begun. And we are starting here today, and we're resolved to continue this fight.

During the meetings that we held, we met with a young man who's here today -- I think Colin Goddard is here. Where are you, Colin? Colin was one of the survivors of the -- the Virginia Tech massacre.

He was in the classroom. He calls himself one of the lucky seven. And -- and he'll tell you he was shot four times on that day and he has three bullets that are still inside him.

And when I asked Colin about what he thought we should be doing, he said that -- he said, I'm not here because of what happened to me; I'm here because of -- what happened to me keeps happening to other people and we have to do something about it. Colin, we will. Colin, I promise you we will.

This is our intention. We must do what we can now. And there's no person who is more committed to acting on this moral obligation we have than the president of the United States of America.

Ladies and gentlemen, President Barack Obama.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you, everybody. Please -- please have a seat.

Good afternoon, everybody. Let me begin by thanking our vice president, Joe Biden, for your dedication, Joe, to this issue, for bringing so many different voices to the table, because while reducing gun violence is a complicated challenge, protecting our children from harm shouldn't be a divisive one.

Now, over the month since the tragedy in Newtown, we've heard from so many, and obviously none have affected us more than the families of those gorgeous children and their teachers and guardians who -- who were lost. And so we're grateful to all of you for taking the time to be here and recognizing that we honor their memories in part by doing everything we can to prevent this from happening again.

But we also heard from some unexpected people. In particular, I started getting a lot of letters from kids. Four of them are here today: Grant Fritz (ph), Julia Stokes (ph), Hena Zeha (ph) and Teja Goode (ph). They're pretty representative of some of the messages that I got. These are some pretty smart letters from some pretty smart young people.

Hena (ph), a third-grader -- you can go ahead and wave, Hena (ph) -- that's you -- (laughter) -- Hena (ph) wrote, I feel terrible for the parents who lost their children. I love my country, and I want everybody to be happy and safe.

And then Grant (sp) -- go ahead and wave, Grant (sp) -- (laughter) -- Grant (sp) said, I think there should be some changes. We should learn from what happened at Sandy Hook. I feel really bad.

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