President Barack Obama rejected the conservative talking point on Thursday that his administration is out to strip guns away from their owners.
“I think it’s useful to keep in mind I’ve been now president for over seven years and gun sales don’t seem to have suffered during that time hey’ve gone up,” Obama told CNN host Anderson Cooper during a televised town hall. “I’ve been very good for gun manufacturers.”
Obama also noted during the broadcast that, while both gun safety advocates and gun enthusiasts were invited to participate in the event, the National Rifle Association declined.
The president argued that part of the reason the gun safety debate can be heated is because “people occupy different realities,” saying that he would hear about shootings taking place not far from his home in Chicago, but understanding why rural Iowa residents would want a firearm in the home.
“There are a whole bunch of law-abiding citizens who have grown up hunting with their dad or going to the shooting range and are responsible gun owners,” he explained. “And then there’s the reality that their neighborhoods around the country where it is easier for a 12- or 13-year-old to purchase a gun — and cheaper — than it is for them to get a book.”
Watch the discussion, as aired on Thursday, below.