President Obama told press gathered at the White House Wednesday, "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 does not mean we can't steadily reduce the violence and prevent the very worst violence. That's why I have asked the vice president to lead an effort that includes members of my cabinet and outside organizations to come up with a set of concrete proposals no later than January. Proposals that I then intend to push without delay."
"Look, like the majority of Americans, I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms. This country has a strong tradition of gun ownership that has been handed down from generation to generation."
The president continued, "Obviously, across the country there are regional differences, there are differences between how people feel in urban areas and rural areas. And the fact is, the vast majority of gun owners in America are responsible they buy their guns legally and they use them safely. Wether for hunting or sport shooting, collection or protection."
"But you know what? I am also betting that the majority, the vast majority of responsible, law abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that we should be able to keep the irresponsible, law breaking few from buying a weapon of war. I'm willing to bet that they don't think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas. That an imbalanced man should be able to get his hands on a military style assault rifle so easily."
Vice President Joe Biden was also present in the White House James Brady Press Briefing Room where Obama spoke.
On Friday, a gunman in Newtown, Conn. murdered 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 20 of them were children, mostly ages five and six.
Obama almost immediately hinted at taking action on gun control, in remarks Friday from the White House just after the massacre and on Sunday, when the president traveled to Newtown, Conn. to speak at a memorial service. However, he did not talk about specific measures until Wednesday.
Several members of Congress have called for stricter gun control measures in response to the shootings.