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Politics & Government

In Emotional Speech, Obama Announces Executive Action On Gun Control

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Today at the White House, President Obama did something he's done many times before. He condemned gun violence in this country. But in today's speech, he also announced a series of new executive actions to deal with gun violence. They include changes to the country's system of background checks, more resources for mental health care and a push for gun safety technology. Republican leaders say the president's actions undermine Americans' constitutional rights.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The president's speech is being noted for those executive actions and for how he expressed his emotions. At one point, President Obama began to cry and, as you'll hear, it took him a few moments to compose himself.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BARACK OBAMA: Our unalienable right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, those rights were stripped from college kids in Blacksburg and Santa Barbara and from high schoolers at Columbine and from first graders in Newtown - first graders - and from every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun. Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad. And, by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.