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President affirms right to bear arms but says assault rifles do not belong in the hands of citizens, drawing contrast with Romney
By Adam Gabbatt in New York, guardian.co.uk, July 26, 2012
Barack Obama has addressed the issue of gun control for the first time since the Colorado film premiere shootings, appealing for "a consensus around violence reduction" and suggesting assault rifles "belong on the battlefield".
The president's comments came as the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said the US did not need new gun laws and argued that "changing the heart of the American people" might be the way to avoid future tragedy instead.
Gun control is a sensitive topic for both candidates, although a study published on Tuesday showed widespread support for some forms of tighter gun laws among gun owners and even National Rifle Association members.
"I believe the second amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms," Obama said on Wednesday night. "But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not on the streets of our cities." [....]