Obama: Gun control reforms unlikely in America

MOSCOW, June 21 (PNA/Sputnik) — Tighter gun control is unlikely to be introduced in the United States in the near future, as lobby groups such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) remain powerful amid a lack of public initiative on gun-related issues, US President Barack Obama said in the Marc Maron podcast that is expected to be released on Monday.

“Unfortunately, the grip of the NRA on Congress is extremely strong. I don’t foresee any legislative action being taken in this Congress. And I don’t foresee any real action being taken until the American public feels a sufficient sense of urgency and they say to themselves, ‘This is not normal, this is something that we can change and we are going to change it,’” Obama said in an excerpt from “WTF With Marc Maron” posted by the New York Times on Friday.

Obama stressed that the role of the American public is key in changing US gun laws, as NRA and other lobby groups will continue to oppose any regulations infringing on Constitutionally-guaranteed gun rights.

“If you don’t have that kind of public and voter pressure, it’s not going to change from the inside,” the president said.

Obama did note, however, that hunting and sportsmanship are important to Americans and are part of traditions that need to be respected.

“The question is just is there a way of accommodating that legitimate set of traditions with some common sense stuff that prevents a 21-year-old who is angry about something or confused about something or is racist, or is deranged, from going into a gun store,” Obama said.

The US president’s comments come after nine African-American worshippers were lethally shot at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopalian Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday.

Dylann Roof, a white 21-year-old male who identifies with racist apartheid groups, has confessed to murdering the churchgoers and was charged with nine counts of murder and possession of a firearm on Friday.

On Saturday, in a speech at the US Conference of Mayors, US presidential front runner Hillary Clinton urged to reform American gun laws to keep lethal weapons out of the hands of people dangerous for the society.

The issue of gun-related violence has been divisive for the United States where the right to keep and bear arms is considered fundamental, being enshrined in the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.