Obama on "Conspiracy" To Take Away Guns: "The United States Was Born Suspicious Of Some Distant Authority"


MARK KELLY: Often what you hear in the debate of expanding background checks to more gun sales, and, as you know, Gabby and I are 100% behind the concept of somebody getting a background check before buying a gun.

But, when we testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, we heard not only from the gun lobby, but from United States Senators that expanding background checks will, not may, will lead to a registry, which will lead to confiscation, which will lead to a tyrannical government.

So, I would like you to explain with 350 million guns in 65 million places, households, from Key West, to Alaska, 350 million objects in 65 million places, if the Federal government wanted to confiscate those objects, how would they do that? (APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: Well, look, first of all, everytime I see Gabby I'm just so thrilled because I visited her in the hospital, and, as I mentioned, I think, in the speech in the White House, as we left the hospital then to go to a memorial service, we got word that Gabby had opened her eyes for the first time.

And, we did not think she was going to be here, and she is, and Mark's just been extraordinary.

And, by the way, Mark's twin brothers up in space right now, and is breaking the record for the longest continuous orbiting of the planet, which is pretty impressive stuff.

What I think Mark is alluding to is what I said earlier, this notion of a conspiracy out there, and it gets wrapped up in concerns about the Federal government.

Now, there's a long history of that, that's in our DNA, you know? The United States was born suspicious of some distant authority...

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: ... now, let me just jump in here, is it fair to call it a conspiracy...

PRESIDENT OBAMA: ... well, yeah...

COOPER: ... because a lot of people really believe this deeply, that they just don't...

OBAMA: ... no...

COOPER: ... they just don't trust you.

OBAMA: I'm sorry, Cooper, yes. It is fair to call the conspiracy, what are you saying? Are you suggesting that the notion that we are creating a plot to take everybody's guns away so that we can impose martial law...

COOPER: ... not everybody, but there's certainly a lot of...

OBAMA: ... but a conspiracy? Yes, that is a conspiracy! I would hope that would agree with that.


OBAMA: Is that controversial? Except on some website...

COOPER: There are -- there are certainly a lot of people who just have a fundamental distrust that you do not want to get -- go further and further and further down this road.

OBAMA: Well, look, I mean, I'm only going to be here for another year. I don't know -- when -- when would I have started on this enterprise, right? I come from the state of Illinois, which we've been talking about

Chicago, but downstate Illinois is closer to Kentucky than it is to Chicago. And everybody hunts down there. And a lot of folks own guns. And so this is not, like, alien territory to me. I've got a lot of friends, like Mark, who are hunters. I just came back from Alaska where I ate a moose that had just been shot, and it was pretty good.

So, yes, it is -- it is a false notion that I believe is circulated for either political reasons or commercial reasons in order to prevent a coming-together among people of goodwill to develop commonsense rules that will make us safer while preserving the Second Amendment.

And the notion that we can't agree on some things while not agreeing on others, and the reason for that is because, "Well, the president secretly wants to do X," would mean that we'd be paralyzed about doing everything. I mean, maybe when I propose to make sure that, you know, unsafe drugs are taken off the market that secretly I'm trying to control the entire drug industry or take people's drugs away, but probably not. What's more likely is I just want to make sure that people are not dying by taking bad drugs.

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