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Obama responds to gun violence petition

By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com
Obama responds to gun violence petition
President Barack Obama announces that he is appointing Vice President Joe Biden (L) to craft new policies within the next month to curb gun violence in America in the wake of the school shooting in Connecticut, in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on December 19, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama later entertain questions during brief press conference. UPI/Pat Benic | License Photo

Over the weekend, a petition to implement stricter gun control laws on the White House "We the People" website became the most popular ever.

With almost 200,000 signatures (along with more than 30 similar petitions), the White House responded with impressive promptness.

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President Obama appears to be throwing the full force of the administration behind making changes to the way U.S. laws deal with guns. In addition to forming a task force, led by Vice President Joe Biden, to make recommendations for reducing gun violence, President Obama responded directly to the petitioners in a video posted to the White House blog.

"We hear you," Obama said.

RELATED Gun control "We the People" petition most popular ever

Here's what I think we should do: This week I called on Congress to take up and pass legislation that has the support of the majority of the American people, including banning the sale of military-style assault weapons and high capacity ammunition clips and making sure criminals cannot take advantage of legal loopholes to get their hands on a gun.

"I also tasked the Vice President with leading an effort to come up with a comprehensive set of serious proposals to keep our children safe, including strengthening school safety, improving mental health care and addressing a culture that too often glorifies guns and violence. I asked for these proposals by January, and I will push for them early in the year.

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"I will do everything in my power as president to advance these efforts. Because if there's even one thing we can do as a country to protect our children, we have a responsibility to try.

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