Explainer: Why President Obama Chose to Come to Minneapolis

President Barack Obama will visit Minneapolis on Monday to meet with law enforcement and community members to discuss gun control measures nationwide.

President Barack Obama will visit Minneapolis on Monday to meet with local officials about gun violence, less than two months after the December that claimed the lives of 20 children and six school staffers.

The day trip will be the president’s first one outside Washington to discuss his “common-sense” plan to combat gun violence, introduced on January 16 and reiterated a few days later in his weekly video address to the nation (see above). The visit follows his promises to heavily involve communities in tackling this issue.

“Everything we do combines both a legislative strategy with a broad-based communications and outreach strategy to get people engaged and involved, so that it's not Washington over here and the rest of America over there,” Obama told New Republic editors in a recent interview.

The choice of Minneapolis for his first visit is deliberate. The city has more gun control measures than most American cities. Local authorities have spent years creating and refining a youth violence initiative and fine-tuned version of Minnesota’s background check for gun buyers. 

Related: Hennepin County Sheriff Meets With President Obama

Minneapolis was also the scene to a mass shooting last September, when a man went on a shooting spree with a semiautomatic rifle, killing six former co-workers after he was fired. The man had 10,000 rounds of ammunition.

Last week, Mayor R.T. Rybak announced that he and 60 other mayors across the U.S. were examining gun manufacturers that they hire to arm police, to determine whether they are helping or hurting "common sense" gun control.

“Minneapolis is a city that has taken important steps to reduce gun violence and foster a conversation in the community about what further action is needed,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney explained during a media briefing last Friday. Minneapolis Chief of Police Janee Harteau and Sheriff Richard Stanek were involved in drafting the White House plan.

In January, the president called for an extension of the Minneapolis measures to be implemented nationwide: universal background checks, school safety and mental health programs, and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. But he faces an uphill battle in a Republican-dominated Congress that views the legislation as an attack against the second amendment.

Last month, Republican Missouri Senator Brian Nieves wrote about his severe distrust for federal government regulation, arguing that "increased gun control only empowers government and criminals...Gun control laws only disarm the innocent and weaken those who follow the law."

In an effort to curb the anti-gun rhetoric being attributed to him, the White House released a photo last Saturday of Obama wielding a smoking rifle, which they say was taken while skeet shooting at Camp David on the president’s birthday last August.

“Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas,” Obama told The New Republic, adding that “advocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes.”

Listening is what the Minneapolis visit was designed for.

Orono February 04, 2013 at 11:19 PM
Carol, if ignorance was bliss, you would be our queen.
Orono February 04, 2013 at 11:22 PM
Seriously Carol, you are not helping you side of the fence. You best leave the debate to those of us who have a clue.
Jim Flaherty February 05, 2013 at 11:56 AM
Carol, The police do not carry a gun to protect you they carry a gun to protect themselfs.
Marissa Partridge February 05, 2013 at 05:59 PM
Carol, It is very obvious that you don't know very much. I am a registered Democrat although that is changing by the time the next election rolls around (if we still have a republic) I will be a third party voter. I am APPALLED at what the democratic party is doing because it is treason. The 2nd Amendment is the second for a reason. Our founding fathers knew how important it is for the citizenry to be able to protect themselves, hunt and keep the government in check. The easiest way to overthrow the will of the people is to disarm them. I think what you fail to realize is that law abiding gun owners are the only ones that obey laws. Criminals don't obey gun laws. We already have 20,000 of them on the books. If gun control and "gun free zones" actually worked then New York, Chicago and L.A. would all be the safest places to live. How do you like them apples? As for not needing more than 10 rounds, what happens if three large intruders break into my home? Sometimes you miss, sometimes the bad guys are hopped up on drugs. The police need a minimum of 16 rounds so why shouldn't the average citizen have the ability to protect themselves the same way the police do? Finally, you do realize that the police are not geenies. They don't magically appear as soon as you call 911. It takes them awhile to get to you. They don't prevent crimes from happening. They collect evidence to get justice.
Marissa Partridge February 05, 2013 at 06:03 PM
@ Carol - it is obvious that you are not a fire arms owner because the ignorance you display on the issue is so forthcoming. This article is the most definitive answer on why this bill is dangerous. http://1389blog.com/2012/12/23/larry-correia-refutes-the-gun-controllers-once-and-for-all/
Orono February 05, 2013 at 10:48 PM
And reading this response, you have left no lingering doubts with anyone. The 30 seconds it took me to read this, followed by the 3 additional readings to try and understand this, will be lost to me forever. Please stay off the internet until you are knowledgable enough to use it correctly.
Marissa Partridge February 06, 2013 at 12:09 AM
Carol - It is obvious that you don't know one word about the 2nd Amendment or fire arms. Yes, thanks for admitting it. I was trying to point out to you that your safety is your own responsibility and therefore limiting magazine capacity to 7 rounds clearly will leave law abiding citizens at a disadvantage. I was trying to teach you that the police do not prevent crimes from happening because they cannot get to you in time. We are trying to inform you, nicely, that your view that citizens don't have a right to protect their person and property is misguided and dangerous thinking.
Jim Flaherty February 06, 2013 at 11:33 AM
Carol, I hope you were no insulted by my statement about police not carrying a gun to protect you but to protect them. Imagine if you can that one day you are minding your own business and the police break in and charge you with a felony because your gun hold too many rounds. Well it could happen if this law goes through. But them that would be a violation of your 4th amendment rights but if the second can be changed why not the 4th. Or maybe the federal government decides that the 1st amendment is out dated so your right to free speech is no longer allowed, free speech is only a small part of the 1st amendment so the government will only modify it a little because free speech can and does cause a lot of trouble. Look how mad you are.
Jeff February 06, 2013 at 01:36 PM
Because so many people today can't think for themselves. And, you have to imagine how many people have moved to the Free Country of America from their socialist/communist countries and don't even realize that their freedoms are slowly being taken away. They are used to this kind of government activity and don't think it's weird...
Orono February 06, 2013 at 10:22 PM
Typical liberal. You sit in judgement of Nicholas yet call me arrogant.
Nicholas Goers February 08, 2013 at 04:14 PM
Thank you Orono!
Al Anderson February 08, 2013 at 04:14 PM
Carol -- when you issue arrows in the form of posts -- you can expect to get them back. If you don't have the fortitude to take them without being "offended" - the simple choice is not to post.
Nicholas Goers February 08, 2013 at 04:15 PM
Don't start something if you're not ready to receive an opinion in return! Again like any other liberal....
Joyce February 08, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Wrong; no background check is being proposed for family gifts, only for places like gun shows.
Joyce February 08, 2013 at 04:21 PM
The logical extension of your statement, "law abiding gun owners are the only ones that obey laws" is that we should scrap ALL laws since only law abiding people will obey them. Seriously. As for the Second Amendment, NO rights are absolute; even freedom of speech is limited. Moreover, you have your history askew; the Second Amendment was added as a sop to the slave states who wanted to keep the right to form citizen militias to track down runaway slaves. That amendment was included to induce the slave states to endorse the full Bill of Rights.
Donald Lee February 08, 2013 at 05:49 PM
Maybe you don't understand the word "universal"? The whole point is that EVERY transfer of a firearm is tracked and approved. If there are "loopholes", such as transfers between "family members", then it's not "universal". It's easy to say "well, we won't worry about family gifts....", but you have to come up with a rule - language for the law - that will cover private transfers - like gun shows or transfers between neighbors or friends - but not "family" transfers. Maybe we should allow an "exception" if you're related? There is no way to track guns without tracking guns. A tracking system that does not track them ALL is not a very good tracking system.
Orono February 08, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Joyce, if anyone has their history askew, it is you. The 2nd amendment was adopted in 1791. George Washington was still president. There was a total of 14 states total. Slavery wasn't abolished north of the Mason Dixon line until 1804. The 2nd amendment got its life from the English bill of rights of 1689. The amendment merely set forth laws that the colonists already had and were familiar with. Furthermore, what difference does it make WHY or HOW the amendment came to life? Your comments implies that because a couple of those evil slave states demanded the amendment, it doesnt really count that much.
Joyce February 09, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Orono, perhaps, through no fault of your own, you missed out on classes in American history. Slavery has been a bone of contention first between the various colonies and then between the states since long before the Civil War; in fact, the wording of the Declaration of Independence was hotly contested by representatives of the slave holding colonies and altered to meet their demands in order to get them to sign it - they were afraid the original wording, as written by Jefferson, would result eventually in the end of slavery. The same holds true for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights: http://www.saf.org/lawreviews/bogus2.htm (Link pasted here, not sure if Patch will delete the link - that happens sometimes.) Why is the history of the amendment important? Because, Orono, people in the present are claiming a "sacred" right to own any and all firearms because of the Second Amendment; they are demanding that the rights of the Second Amendment be treated differently from all the other rights in the Constitution in that gun rights should be absolute and unlimited. They are making this demand based on a false reading of the history of the amendment, thinking that it was written to allow the citizenry to rise up against the government - in other words, to commit treason.
Orono February 09, 2013 at 06:52 PM
Joyce, with all due respect, you're wrong. Slavery was as issue only slightly more than the silly video was the cause to Benghazi. You can make an argument for it definitely but to claim that it was main reason for the 2nd amendment is false. Read the English bill of rights. Apparently the fact that it is also called the bill of rights is strictly ironic in your argument. Where we do agree is the interpretation of the amendment. People seem to forget that there are already many guns banned. Both extremes are clueless. This entire waste of time pretending we are protecting the kids is a joke. None of this will do a damn thing.
Joyce February 09, 2013 at 07:18 PM
Orono, take a look at the first part of the Second Amendment: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state..." Those "well regulated militias" were the citizen militias organized to go after escaped slaves; note that the English Bill of Rights makes no mention of state militias.
Orono February 10, 2013 at 02:24 AM
The only thing you dislike more than conservative views is being proven wrong. My authority comes from Dr Mega from St Thomas. Which liberal idealist has wrongly polluted your brain?
Joyce February 10, 2013 at 04:39 PM
Orono, check out the link I posted earlier (here is it again: http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/Bogus2.htm) which cites original source material from the men who wrote the Bill of Rights.
Jim Flaherty February 11, 2013 at 01:28 PM
Joyce, Why do I find it hilarious that you get your reference from the University of California at Davis? I’m sure you can get the ultra-liberals from there to write anything if it supports your Timothy Leary Ideals (I like the person’s name BOGUS) Sex, Drugs and peace Baby. Didn’t you go to school on the LEFT coast in the 60’s? Joyce you will argue and come up with obscure references until you think you can win your argument, but you won’t win this one. Well here’s one for you, O people of the book! Why clothe ye the truth with falsehood? Why wittingly hide the truth?
Joyce February 11, 2013 at 04:21 PM
Well, no, Jim Flaherty, I did not go to college on "the LEFT coast" in the 60's, though I did spend some time in LA when I was 11 years old. As for the author of the Law Review article, he is a professor at the Roger Williams University School of Law at the University of Rhode Island, a school with better academic credentials than Glenn Beck University.
Orono February 11, 2013 at 05:11 PM
"THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT" by someone named Bogus. I prefer to quote Jesse Ventura as my expert on things ridiculous.
Joyce February 11, 2013 at 05:31 PM
Orono wrote: '"THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT" by someone named Bogus. I prefer to quote Jesse Ventura as my expert on things ridiculous.' Choose ignorance if you wish, Orono; I prefer to be well informed.
Nicholas Goers February 11, 2013 at 05:34 PM
...And yet Joyce is making herself sound uninformed like most Liberals...
Jim Flaherty February 11, 2013 at 07:43 PM
Joyce, here is a quote from your expert. “They tell us . . . that we are weak - unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? . . . Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? . . . Three million people, armed in the holy cause of liberty . . . are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.” I believe we kicked the British in the back side.
Joyce February 11, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Jim, how conveniently you ignore the bulk of the discussions regarding the Second Amendment.
James Warden (Editor) February 11, 2013 at 09:04 PM
Sen. Ron Latz and Rep. Tony Cornish made some interesting comments on why the two sides can't see eye-to-eye. Check it out and tell us what you think: http://hopkins.patch.com/articles/latz-gun-control-debate-adds-controversy-to-commonsense-proposals


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