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President Obama has heard the public’s cries over the lack of attention he’s paid to the gun violence in Chicago and finally returned home Friday (Feb. 15). Speaking at the Hyde Park Academy, the commander in chief stood on the platform of stricter gun laws, and the banning of high magazine rifles, but pointed out that improving economic conditions within the community is also a top priority. 

Referencing the shooting death of Hadiya Pendelton, the funeral of which was attended by First Lady Michelle Obama, the president said that guns aren’t the only issues at hand. Violence can be a result of a person’s environment.  “This is not just a gun issue,” he said, explaining that  “If a child grows up with parents who have work and some education and can be role models,” than the child will have “a foundation” for success; rather than going down the wrong path.

Not only addressing the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., the POTUS noted that children are losing their lives at a rapid pace, stating that 65 youngsters were killed in Chicago last year. “That’s the equivalent of a Newtown every four months,” he said. “And that’s precisely why the overwhelming majority of Americans are asking for some common sense proposals to make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun.”

He also made mention of single-parent households as a contributing factor to children potentially making bad decisions.  “Don’t get me wrong, as the son of a single mom who gave everything she had to raise me with the help of my grandparents, you know, I turned out okay. At the same time, I wish I’d had a father who was around and involved.”

For the last several weeks, the president has been trying to get Congress to move on legislation aimed at putting a dent in the cases of gun violence, but has been met with opposition.