WASHINGTON, D.C. - In response to hundreds of thousands of signatures on a petition following the deadly Connecticut shootings, President Barack Obama released a special message on a Youtube video Friday.
He said in the days since the tragedy in Newtown, Americans from all over the country have called for action to deter mass shootings and reduce gun violence. Thousands have signed petitions on "We The People," a White House petition site.
"We know this is a complex issue that stirs deeply held passions and political divides," said President Obama. "But the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. The fact that we can't prevent every act of violence doesn't mean we can't steadily reduce the violence, and prevent the very worst violence," he said.
He also said the issue would not be solved with a single legislative proposal or policy prescription.
"The fact is the vast majority of gun owners in America are responsible. They buy their guns legally and they use them safely, whether for hunting or sport shooting, collection or protection," he said. But he cited there are differences between how people feel about guns in urban areas and rural areas.
Vice President Joe Biden has been asked to help establish a set of concrete gun policy proposals by next month.
He concluded, "Ultimately if this effort is to succeed it's going to require the help of the American people, it's going to require all of you. If we're going to change things, it's going to take a wave of Americans...standing up and saying 'enough' on behalf of our kids."
The entire response from the President can be viewed here.