Obama: Gun Control Is My Biggest Frustration

He is 'distressed' by failure to deal with issue
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2015 3:00 AM CDT
Obama: Gun Control Is My Biggest Frustration
President Obama speaks to a gathering of more than 130 college-bound students and guests from across the country participating in the 2015 "Beating the Odds" Summit yesterday.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Just hours before yet another mass shooting, President Obama told the BBC that the biggest frustration of his presidency has been his failure to bring in stricter gun control laws, "even in the face of repeated mass killings." He said he had been "stymied" in his efforts to introduce "common sense gun safety laws" since taking office. "If you look at the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it's less than 100," he said. "If you look at the number that have been killed by gun violence, it's in the tens of thousands." To not have resolved the issue "is distressing," said Obama, whose latest executive order on the issue could add millions of people to the background-check system.

The wide-ranging interview also touched on issues such as the Iran deal, the US-UK relationship, and gay rights in Kenya, where Obama arrives today. The president "was relaxed and confident, buoyed by a string of 'wins' on health care, Cuba, and Iran, after bitter and ongoing battles with his many critics," says interviewer Jon Sopel. The only "body swerve," Sopel says, is when he asked the president how many minds he had been able to change on the Iran deal, which left "the impression that he has persuaded precisely zero." (Earlier this week, Obama said farewell to Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.)

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