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Tags: obama | town hall | gun control | takeaways

11 Town Hall Takeaways: Obama Mocks Gun Owners, Fails to Advance Agenda

11 Town Hall Takeaways: Obama Mocks Gun Owners, Fails to Advance Agenda
U.S. President Barack Obama discusses reducing gun violence with CNN's Anderson Cooper at George Mason University on January 7, 2016 in Fairfax, Virginia. (Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 08 January 2016 10:36 AM

President Barack Obama pledged to "politicize" the gun debate last year, and he followed through on that promise on Thursday night in Virginia where he hosted a televised town hall pushing for more gun control.

The event was organized and hosted by CNN and the White House, and comes on the heels of Obama's executive orders issued earlier this week that will force more hobbyist gun sellers to perform background checks on buyers.

Gathered below are 11 things to know about the event.

ALERT: Should Obama Have More Control Over Guns? Vote Now

1. Obama mocked gun owners as "conspiracy"-minded — Obama suggested that many Americans have a paranoid "notion of a conspiracy" that the federal government is secretly plotting to take away their guns, The Associated Press reported. "There's a long history of that, that's in our DNA, you know? The United States was born suspicious of some distant authority," he said. "It is a false notion that I believe is circulated for either political reasons or commercial reasons in order to prevent a coming-together among people of goodwill to develop commonsense rules that will make us safer while preserving the Second Amendment."

2. CNN pushed back on Obama's "conspiracy" language — "Now, let me just jump in here, is it fair to call it a conspiracy?" host Anderson Cooper asked, according to Real Clear Politics. "There are certainly a lot of people who just have a fundamental distrust that you do not want to go further and further and further down this road."

3. Obama claimed guns aren't "alien" to him — "I come from the state of Illinois," Obama began. "Downstate Illinois is closer to Kentucky than it is to Chicago. And everybody hunts down there. And a lot of folks own guns. And so this is not, like, alien territory to me. I've got a lot of friends . . . who are hunters. I just came back from Alaska where I ate a moose that had just been shot, and it was pretty good."

4. The NRA rejected Obama's invitation to attend — The National Rifle Association did not attend the town hall, calling it a "PR stunt" and "the next installment of the Obama Gun Ban Media Circus," the Washington Examiner reported. NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam also said ahead of the event that the group saw "no reason to participate in a public relations spectacle orchestrated by the White House."

5. The NRA sent their own message on Thursday
— During the town hall, the NRA took to Twitter, writing at one point that "none of the president's orders would have stopped any of the recent mass shootings." The NRA's Chris Cox said Obama was "creating an illusion that he is doing something to keep people safe."

VOTE NOW: Who Should the GOP Nominate in 2016?

6. A rape survivor said she feels safer with a gun — After being raped by an intruder, Kimberly Corban, an NRA supporter, told the president it "seems like my basic responsibility as a parent" to own a firearm for self-defense. "I refuse to let that happen again," she said, according to the AP.

7. "American Sniper" Chris Kyle's widow said gun bans don't work — Taya Kyle told the president that "The laws that we create don't stop these horrific things from happening. That is a very tough pill to swallow." She also asked the president why he doesn't highlight falling murder rates across the nation. In an op-ed for CNN ahead of the event, Kyle wrote, "The person who killed my husband, Chris, worked in an armory with daily access to every caliber of high powered weapon for years. He chose to kill when he got out of an environment of accountability and drug testing. Simply having a weapon did not make him a murderer. His life choices did."

8. Violent crime in America is at a historic low — "Violent crime in America is at a 44-year-low," the NRA wrote Thursday on Twitter. Taya Kyle expressed a similar sentiment, writing, "If we add up the number of these mass killers over the last decade, how many people are we talking about? Fewer than 40 over the last decade? Do we want to make laws for millions based on the choices of fewer than 40 evildoers?"

9. Guns rank 19th among America's priorities — The results of a recent Gallup poll published Monday showed that guns and gun control ranked as only the 19th "Most Important Problem Facing the U.S. in 2015," according to those surveyed. More concerning to Americans is politicians and the government itself, the economy, jobs, immigration, healthcare, moral decline, poverty, national security, ISIS, and pollution.

10. The American Firearms Retailers Association did participate
— Kris Jacob, vice president of the retail group, told Obama that business has been booming because of the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, as well as Obama's opposition to guns. "It's been busy. There's a very serious concern in this country about personal security," he said, according to the AP.

11. Trump talked about gun-free zones at his own event
— Holding his own, separate rally in Vermont, current Republican front-runner Donald Trump told a gathered crowd he would eliminate gun-free zones in schools if elected to the White House. "You know what a gun-free zone is for a sicko? That's bait," he said, according to the AP.

URGENT: Do You Support Obama's Plans for Stricter Gun Control? Vote Now

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TheWire
President Barack Obama pledged to "politicize" the gun debate last year, and he followed through on that promise on Thursday night in Virginia where he hosted a televised town hall pushing for more gun control. Here are 11 things to know about the event.
obama, town hall, gun control, takeaways
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2016-36-08
Friday, 08 January 2016 10:36 AM
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