(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama responded on Friday to a petition on the White House website urging lawmakers to pass stricter gun control laws following last week's Newtown, Conn., school shooting.
In a video, Obama acknowledged that hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions asking politicians to "address the epidemic of gun violence in this country."
"We hear you," he said, reiterating that he has asked Vice President Joe Biden to lead a team in developing specific proposals by January to reduce gun violence.
The president noted that "most gun owners in America are responsible."
"Like the majority of Americans, I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms," he said.
"Here's what I think we should do," Obama continued. "This week I called on Congress to take up and pass common-sense legislation that has the support of the majority of the American people, including banning the sale of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, and making sure criminals can't take advantage of legal loopholes to get their hands on a gun."
He stressed the need to address a culture that "glorifies" violence and improve mental health services, and urged people to call on their members of Congress "as many times as it takes" to achieve a result.
"I'm asking for your help to make a real meaningful difference in the lives of our communities and our country, and make sure the United States of America is a safer, stronger place for our children to learn and to grow," Obama concluded.
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