Speaking to the National Urban League in New Orleans, President Barack Obama pledged on Wednesday to work with leaders of all political stripes to “arrive at a consensus” on how to reduce gun violence in the U.S., Reuters reports. Obama told a mostly African-American audience that tragedies like the Colorado theater shooting are replayed daily on a smaller scale in America. “I’m going to continue to work with members of both parties and with religious groups and with civic organizations to arrive at a consensus around violence reduction,” he said.
Discussing or even touching on the issue of gun control during an election year is risky, and Obama has been careful to avoid making proposals that could offend gun owners and rally his Republican opponents. The president made a point of emphasizing his support for the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, which covers the right to bear arms. He noted that the political appetite to tackle gun violence was low and that initiatives to address it were often stymied. “Too often those efforts are defeated by politics and by lobbying and eventually by the pull of our collective attention elsewhere,” he said. “Other steps to reduce violence have been met with opposition in Congress. This has been true for some time, particularly when it touches on the issue of guns.”