Obama: 'We have to change' - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Obama: 'We have to change'

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? President Barack Obama speaks to a packed crowd at the University of Hartford Monday evening. ? President Barack Obama speaks to a packed crowd at the University of Hartford Monday evening.
? People wait for the president's arrival. ? People wait for the president's arrival.
? Air Force One lands at Bradley International Airport Monday afternoon. ? Air Force One lands at Bradley International Airport Monday afternoon.
President Barack Obama leaves for Washington D.C. with some of the families from Newtown. President Barack Obama leaves for Washington D.C. with some of the families from Newtown.
? Gov. Dannel P. Malloy addresses the crowd at the University of Hartford Monday evening ? Gov. Dannel P. Malloy addresses the crowd at the University of Hartford Monday evening
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

President Barack Obama pushed for federal gun laws in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School at the University of Hartford on Monday evening.

"We have to change," said Obama at UHart where hundreds of students waited in line for a chance to obtain tickets to the event.

His speech comes just days after Connecticut lawmakers passed some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. State lawmakers voted to expand the ban on assault weapons and also limit the sale of magazines to only 10 rounds.

Gun owners in the state will now have to register their weapons and ammunition, and for the first time ever, the law requires background checks on all sales.

"The law is not a cure all," said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy at the University of Hartford. "It will be off assistance."

Malloy told the packed crowd that he wants to continue to push for universal background checks through out the country.

"We can win this battle because we did it here," he said.

On Dec. 14, 20 children and six adults were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"Newtown, we want you to know that we're here with you," said Obama, who became visibly upset at times. "We will not walk away from the promises we've made. We are as determined as ever to do what must be done."

Obama said that "common sense" laws can be passed that protects people and rights of every American.

"Connecticut has shown the way," he said about the recent gun control legislation being passed in the state. 

The United States Congress are expected to debate the "common sense" laws on reducing gun violence where lawmakers from Connecticut are going to take the lead in pushing those bills.

"But Congress is only going to act on them if they hear from you, the American people," Obama said.

The president said all of the proposals pushed in Connecticut deserve a vote in the United States congress. He added 90 percent of Americans support on universal background checks.

"You would think this would not be a heavy lift," Obama said.

The president said he has been listening to the media in Washington D.C. who said that whether gun control legislation passes would "a political victory or defeat for me."

"You know what? This isn't about me. And it shouldn't be about politics," he said. "This is about doing the right thing for families like yours that have been torn apart by gun violence, and families going forward."

Malloy said it is "great" to have the president in state talking about gun control legislation.

"It is time for change," he said. "And we are going to get it."

The Connecticut governor also attacked his critics.

"I don't care what the NRA (National Rifle Association) says," Malloy said. "I don't care what other people say."

Before speaking to the crowd at the University of Hartford on Monday, the president spoke with the family members who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook Elementary, Malloy said.

"My family's world changed completely that day," said Nicole Hockley, who introduced the president.

Nicole Hockley said the goal this week is to pass "common sense" gun control legislation that will "make our communities safer."

"Do something before our tragedy becomes your tragedy," she said.

Obama brought members of 11 families, whose loved ones were killed in the shooting, on board Air Force Once when he returned to Washington, D.C., Monday evening.

"My expectations for congress are high," Nicole Hockley said.

The families will work to lobby lawmakers to pass tougher gun control measures.

"Look, we knew from the beginning of this debate that change wouldn't be easy. We knew there are powerful interests that are very good at changing the subject, at amplifying conflict and extremes over common ground, at drowning out rational debate by ginning up irrational fear," Obama said. "That's what too often stands in the way of progress."

The president ended his speech by asking for the public's help and asked them to "stand up."

"If you're an American who wants to do something to prevent more families from knowing the immeasurable anguish that these families know, now is the time to act. Now is the time to get engaged, to get involved, to push back on fear, frustration, and misinformation," Obama said. "Now is the time to make your voice heard from every state house to the corridors of Congress."

Obama arrived at Bradley International Airport just before 4:30 p.m. and was met by well-wishers, military families and members of the Connecticut legislation.

The president shook hands and spoke with several people in the crowd before heading to the University of Hartford.

His motorcade caused several delays on state highways and people lined the streets to see his arrival. 

Many of the people in attendance were wearing green ribbons in honor of the victims of Sandy Hook.

Sunday night on 60 Minutes, families of the victims of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook said they are planning on pushing these types of laws on a federal level.

"We don't get to move on. We don't have the benefit of turning the page to another piece of legislation and having another debate and playing politics the same we we've been doing. We don't have that benefit. We're (going to) live with this for the rest of our lives. So our legislators need to hear us," said Jimmy Greene.

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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