Obama used his State of the Union address to challenge both House Republicans to call a vote and Senate Republicans to allow a vote on his proposed gun control measures. “Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress,” he told them. “If you want to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote.”
He noted that it had been two months since the Newtown shootings without any concrete Congressional action — and longer than that since former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot, since the Aurora shootings and since the Sikh temple shootings. He pointed to his guests in the House Gallery, Nate and Cleo Pendleton, whose daughter Hadiya was killed by gun violence in Chicago shortly after performing at the Inaugural Parade. “They deserve a vote,” he began. “Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence –- they deserve a simple vote.”
Obama further acknowledged that, “Our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country,” but returned to the theme of a dysfunctional Congress theme from the start of his address: “But we were never sent here to be perfect. We were sent here to make what difference we can, to secure this nation, expand opportunity, and uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government.”
Watch that section of his speech below via Mediaite, or the entire clip via CSPAN here.