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Obama Gun Control Speech Outlines 23 Directives He Will Pass: Assault Weapons Ban Included

Obama on Wednesday highlighted the streak of mass shootings in 2012, punctuated with the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary ... the watershed moment that has forced him to act on the gun control matter. 

"Our first task as a society is to keep our children safe," Obama said.

He added: "We can't push this off any longer."

Obama explained, "I respect our strong tradition of gun ownership."

More than 900 Americans have died of gun violence since Sandy Hook, Obama outlined.

"I'm putting forward a specific set of proposals ... and intend to use the weight of this office to achieve them."

"If there is even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, then we've got an obligation to try."

The president called for: 

- A focus on universal background checks. Right now some 40 percent of gun sales take place without background checks, including by private sellers at gun shows or over the Internet, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

- A ban on assault weapons and limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds or fewer.

- A federal statute to stop "straw man" purchases of guns and crack down on trafficking rings.

- More anti-bullying efforts; more training for teachers, counselors and principals; and funding for schools for more counselors and resource officers.

Read the full plan here.

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