Obama, Romney Cite Education, Strong Families to Fight Gun Violence

President Obama, Mitt Romney find rare point of agreement in contentious debate.
3:00 | 10/16/12

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Transcript for Obama, Romney Cite Education, Strong Families to Fight Gun Violence
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Who are brought up a question that we hear a lot both over the Internet and from this -- President Obama during the Democratic National Convention in 2008. You stated you like to keep AK forty sevens at the hands of criminals. What has your administration done or plan to do to limit the availability of assault weapons. Award nation that believes in the Second Amendment and I believe in the second man. We've got a long tradition of hunting. And sportsmen. And people want to make sure that can protect themselves. -- Urban too many instances during the course of my presidency were -- to comfort. Families. Who've lost somebody most recently. On the war. Don't just. A couple of weeks ago actually probably about a month. I sought a mother who I've met at the bedside of her son who'd been shot in that theater. And her son have been shot through the had. And we spent some time and we said a prayer. And remarkably. About two months later this young man and his mom showed up and he looked unbelievable. -- -- -- But there were a lot of fairways -- and have a good fortune. And whose. Sons or daughters her husband's been -- So my belief is that -- we have to enforce the laws -- party got. Make sure there were keeping guns out of the hands of criminals those were mentally ill. We've done a much better job in terms of background checks but we've got -- do. When it comes to enforcement. But I also shared or belief. That weapons that were designed for soldiers. In war theaters don't belong on our streets. And so what I'm trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence -- part of -- Is. Seeing if we can get. An assault weapons ban reintroduced but part of it is also. Looking at other sources of the violence. Because frankly in my hometown of Chicago there's an awful lot of violence and they're not using AK forty sevens they're using cheap handguns. And so what can we do to intervene. To make sure that young people have opportunities. That our schools are working. That. If there's violence on the streets that working with faith groups and law enforcement we can catch it before it gets out of control. So what I want is is a comprehensive strategy. Part of it is seeing if we can get automatic weapons that kill folks. Yet in an amazing numbers out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill but part of it is also going deeper. And seeing if we can get into these communities and making shore we catch violent impulses before they occur. About assault weapons that -- Yeah I'm not in favor of new pieces of legislation done on guns and and taking guns away -- or making certain guns illegal we of course don't wanna have automatic weapons and that's already illegal in this country to have. Automatic weapons. What what I believe is we have to do is the president mentioned but towards the end of his remarks there which is to make an enormous efforts to enforce the gun laws that we have. And to change the culture of violence we have. He asked how we gonna do that. And there are a number things he mentioned good schools I totally agree we were able to drive our schools to be number one in the nation in my state. And I believe if we do a better job and education will will give people the the hope and opportunity they deserve and perhaps less violence from that but let me mention another thing. And that -- parents. -- moms and dads helping raise kids. Wherever possible that the benefit of having two parents in the home and that's not always possible lot of great single -- single -- But cash to tell our kids that before they have babies they ought to think about getting married to someone. That's a great idea. Because if there's a two parent family. The prospect of living in poverty goes down dramatically. The opportunities that the child will will be able to achieve increased dramatically. So what we can make changes in the way our our culture works to help bring people away from violence and give them opportunity and bring them in the American system. The one the greatest failure we've had with regards to it to gun violence in some respects is what what is known as fast and furious. Which was a program. Under this administration and how worked exactly I think we don't know precisely. But where thousands of automatic can end a case 47 type weapons work we're given to people that ultimately did attempt to drug lords. They use those weapons against. Against their own citizens and killed Americans with. And this was that this was a program of the government for what purpose it was put in place I can't imagine. But it's one of the great tragedies. Related to violence -- our society which is occurred during this administration which I think the American people would like to understand fully. It's been investigated to a degree. But but the administration has as a -- carried out executive privilege to to prevent all the information from coming out I don't understand. Who orders that did this what the idealist behind Wyatt -- to the violence thousands of guns going to Mexican drug dealers. Governor -- could that the question was about these assault weapons that once were -- and -- no longer. Ban. I know that you signed -- assault weapons ban when -- Massachusetts obviously with this question you no longer do support that. Why is that given the kind of violence that we see some of these mass killings. -- why is that that you change your mind. Well -- actually in in my state. The pro gun folks and the anti gun folks came together. And put together piece of legislation. And and it's referred to USA as the and assault weapon ban that it had at the signing of the bill. Both the pro gun and the anti gun people came together because it provided. Opportunities for both of both -- -- were hunting opportunities for instance that had previously been available and so forth so it was a mutually agreed upon piece of legislation. That's we need more of candy. What we have right now in Washington is a place that's that's gridlock. But we haven't -- it get we have agreed to that you we have -- we have but we haven't had the leadership in Washington to work -- a bipartisan basis I was able to do that in my state. And bring these two together -- them. The. First of all I think governor Romney was for an assault weapon ban before it was against. And he said that the reason he changed his mind was in part because -- -- -- the endorsement of the National Rifle Association. So that's on the -- But I think that one area we agree on is important to parents. In the importance of schools. Because I do believe that our young people. Have opportunity. And the less likely to engage in these kind of violent acts -- -- eliminate everybody who is mentally disturbed. And we've got to make sure they don't get weapons but we can't make a difference in terms of ensuring that every young person America regardless of where they come from what they look like have a chance to succeed. And -- we haven't had a chance to talk about education much but I think it is very important to understand. That the reforms we put in place working with 46 governors around the country. -- seeing schools that are some of the ones that are the toughest. For kids starting to succeed -- start to see gains in math and science. When it comes to Community Colleges. We are setting up. Programs including -- Nassau community college to retrain workers including young people who -- -- dropped out of school but now are getting another chance. Training them for the jobs that exist right now. And -- employers are looking for skilled workers. And -- -- matching them up. Giving them access to higher education as I said we have made sure that millions of young people are able to get -- education they weren't able to get before. Now Mr. President I have to I have to move you along here that you -- it is still doing -- they'll do it here just wants ones because this is important. This is part of the choice in this election. When governor Romney was asked. Whether teachers hiring more teachers was important to growing our economy. -- honest about doesn't grow our economy. The question investment is a threat -- -- not done here -- -- -- I need to -- -- Christian has gotten so let me let me guess -- -- bring -- -- terms of whether or not we can move this economy forward for these young pioneers and reduce our --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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