Second Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate : on Gun Control


Barack Obama: I believe in 2nd Amendment, but not war weapons on streets

Q: In 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals.

OBAMA: We're a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, and I believe in the Second Amendment. We've got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can protect themselves. My belief is that we have to enforce the laws we've already got, make sure that we're keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, those who are mentally ill. We've done a much better job in terms of background checks, but we've got more to do when it comes to enforcement. But weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets. Part of it 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 home town of Chicago, there's an awful lot of violence and they're not using AK-47s. They're using cheap hand guns.

Source: Second Obama-Romney 2012 debate Oct 16, 2012

Jill Stein: More local regulations; more background checks

Q: At the DNC in 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. How will you limit the availability of assault weapons?

OBAMA: We're a nation that believes in the Second Amendment. So, my belief is that we have to enforce the laws we've already got. But weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets.

STEIN: We certainly need an assault weapons ban, but we need more than that. There are some 260 people every day who are injured or killed by gun violence, so it's very important that we ban assault weapons, for starters, but there are other steps that need to be taken quickly. Local communities need to be able to regulate guns, as needed, to deal with their violence. So, we need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. We need background checks, so that the mentally ill are not possessing and using guns. And we need to end the gun show loopholes, as well, because there's far too much violence from guns, which is not needed.

Source: Democracy Now! Expanded Second Obama-Romney 2012 debate Oct 16, 2012

Jill Stein: Reduce culture of violence via mental health & legal drugs

ROMNEY: I'm not in favor of new pieces of legislation on guns and taking guns away or making certain guns illegal. We have to make enormous efforts to enforce the gun laws that we have and to change the culture of violence we have. If there's a two-parent family, the prospect of living in poverty goes down dramatically; the opportunities increase dramatically. We can make changes in the way our culture works to help bring people away from violence

STEIN: We have to address the other drivers of community violence. That includes ensuring that mental health services are available to everyone. But in addition, we need to end the culture of drug violence, which also is a major driver of gun violence. So that means legalizing marijuana, because it is a substance which is dangerous because it is illegal, but it's actually far less dangerous than other legal substances. And to legalize it will go a long way to put an end to the violence surrounding the drug culture.

Source: Democracy Now! Expanded Second Obama-Romney 2012 debate Oct 16, 2012

Jill Stein: Address community violence with more mental health services

We have to address the other drivers of community violence. That includes ensuring that mental health services are available to everyone. But in addition, we need to end the culture of drug violence, which also is a major driver of gun violence. So that means legalizing marijuana; to legalize it will go a long way to put an end to the violence surrounding the drug culture.
Source: Democracy Now! Expanded Second Obama-Romney 2012 debate Oct 16, 2012

Mitt Romney: No new gun legislation; enforce the existing laws

Q: [to Obama]: In 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals.

OBAMA: I believe in the Second Amendment. But weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence.

ROMNEY: Yeah, I'm not in favor of new pieces of legislation on guns and taking guns away or making certain guns illegal. We of course don't want to have automatic weapons, and that's already illegal in this country, to have automatic weapons. What I believe is we have to do is to make enormous efforts to enforce the gun laws that we have and to change the culture of violence we have. And you ask, how are we going to do that? Good schools, to give people the hope and opportunity they deserve, and perhaps less violence from that. But let me mention another thing. And that is parents. We need moms and dads helping raise kids.

Source: Second Obama-Romney 2012 debate Oct 16, 2012

Mitt Romney: Fully investigate "Fast and Furious" program

ROMNEY: The greatest failure we've had with regards to gun violence, in some respects, is what is known as Fast and Furious, which was a program under this administration. And how it worked, we don't know precisely, but thousands of automatic and AK-47-type weapons were given to people that ultimately gave them to drug lords. They used those weapons against their own citizens and killed Americans with them. And 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 in our society which has occurred during this administration, which I think the American people would like to understand fully. It's been investigated to a degree, but the administration has carried out executive privilege to prevent all of the information from coming out. I'd like to understand who it was that did this, what the idea was behind it, why it led to the violence, thousands of guns going to Mexican drug lords.
Source: Second Obama-Romney 2012 debate Oct 16, 2012

Rocky Anderson: Only reason for assault weapons is to kill people quickly

Q: Would you limit the availability of assault weapons?

ROMNEY: I'm not in favor of new pieces of legislation on guns and taking guns away or making certain guns illegal. We have to make enormous efforts to enforce the gun laws that we have.

ANDERSON: We've seen just another instance of Mitt Romney completely flip-flopping on where he stood as governor of Massachusetts, to please the likes of the National Rifle Association. We need to end the stranglehold of the NRA on our government. There's one reason for assault weapons, and that is to kill as many people as quickly as possible. There was a federal ban on assault weapons. It expired in 2004. Obama promised four years ago to support the permanent reinstatement of that ban. That would have been the right thing to do, but he hasn't done it. Neither of these candidates will do the right thing when it comes to ending the influence of the NRA and, once and for all, getting assault weapons off the streets of this country.

Source: Democracy Now! Expanded Second Obama-Romney 2012 debate Oct 16, 2012

Virgil Goode: Veto any ban on assault weapons

ANDERSON: There's one reason for assault weapons, and that is to kill as many people as quickly as possible. There was a federal ban on assault weapons. It expired in 2004. Obama promised four years ago to support the permanent reinstatement of that ban, but he hasn't done it.

GOODE: I have always been an opponent of banning so-called assault weapons, which includes [guns] favored by many deer hunters. If I'm president, I'll veto any ban on assault weapons. But there's only one candidate in this race that has had consistent and solid top ratings by the Gun Owners of America, NRA, Citizens Defense League, Second Amendment groups, and that's Virgil Goode: a longtime supporter of the Second Amendment; a proponent and co-sponsor of legislation to repeal the D.C. gun ban, which was thankfully overturned when the court recognized that the Second Amendment is an individual right. I will stand up for your Second Amendment rights, unlike Romney, Obama or any of the others.

Source: Democracy Now! Expanded Second Obama-Romney 2012 debate Oct 16, 2012

  • The above quotations are from Second Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate (at Hofstra University).
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Gun Control.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
  • Click here for more quotes by Barack Obama on Gun Control.
  • Click here for more quotes by Mitt Romney on Gun Control.
2016 Presidential contenders on Gun Control:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Democrats:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: May 19, 2016