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Obama Keeps Chicago In Gun Debate



    President Barack Obama name-checked his hometown Wednesday while announcing a $500 million package of executive actions and legislative proposals aimed at reducing gun violence. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013)

    President Barack Obama is keeping his hometown in the gun-debate spotlight. For the second time in a month he noted Chicago's persistent violence in a major speech to the nation.

    As Obama announced Wednesday a $500 million package of executive actions and legislative proposals aimed at reducing gun violence, he nodded to the city's murder rate while pointing to several recent massacres, including the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.

    "The most fundamental set of rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, fundamental rights that were denied to college students at Virginia Tech, high school students at Columbine and elementary school students in Newtown, and kids on street corners in Chicago, are too frequent a basis to tolerate," he said.

    Maybe the 516 murders in Chicago last year are weighing on his mind. In his Dec. 14 public statement reacting to the Newtown shootings, Obama included his hometown in a list of tragedies while wiping away tears.

    Chicago Violence "Unacceptable": Emanuel

    [CHI] Chicago Violence "Unacceptable": Emanuel
    "Nobody can be comfortable or sanguine about it and nobody should," Mayor Rahm Emanuel told reporters Thursday in response to a surge in homicides so far in 2012. "If you're a resident of the city, and a child is shot in Little Village, that's a child in the city of Chicago. It's not in another part of the city."
    (Published Thursday, April 12, 2012)

    Chicago marked its 500th homicide two weeks to the day of that statement.

    "As a country we have been through this too many times," Obama said. "Whether it's an elementary school in Newtown or a shopping mall in Oregon or a temple in Wisconsin or a movie theater in Aurora or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children."

    Following Wednesday's speech, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel responded by Twitter and is expected to comment again at 2 p.m.

    Chicago Reaches Murder Milestone

    [CHI] Chicago Reaches Murder Milestone
    The Windy City early Friday morning recorded its 500th homicide. It's a number not seen since 2008 but is far fewer than those recorded in the early 90s. Christian Farr reports.
    (Published Friday, Dec. 28, 2012)

    "I support the President’s plan to ban assault weapons and clips, institute a criminal background check & crack down on gun runners," Emanuel tweeted.

    Also in attendance at Wednesday's news conference was the mayor of Oak Creek, Wis..

    Obama didn't forget about the town to Chicago's north where a gunman burst into a Sikh temple in August and killed seven, including himself. 

    "The right to worship freely and safely, that right was denied to Sikhs in Oak Creek, Wis.," Obama said.