Nightly News   |  April 08, 2013

Obama on gun control: ‘we will not walk away’

President Obama renewed his plea for gun control Monday on the heels of a “60 Minutes” interview featuring the families of Newtown.  NBC’s Chuck Todd reports.

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>>> president obama made an emotional speech tonight on gun control , not far from the scene of the massacre at the sandy hook elementary school in newtown , connecticut . and surrounded by family members of the newtown victims. nbc news chief white house correspondent chuck todd traveling with the president with us tonight from west hartford , connecticut . chuck, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian. the white house believes this is their last best chance to do something meaningful to reform america's gun laws . the president used this speech in west hartford to make a powerful plea to washington. on a mission to rekindle the emotional spark that connected newtown with america in december, the president renewed his plea for gun control .

>> this is not about politics. this is about doing the right thing for all the families who are here that have been torn apart by gun violence .

>> reporter: mr. obama invoked the suffering of the families of the newtown victims.

>> and newtown , we want you to know that we are here with you. we will not walk away from the promises we have made. we are as determined as ever to do what must be done.

>> reporter: many of the families made their own emotional pleas sunday night on "60 minutes."

>> every time, you know, it's somebody else's school, somebody else's town, somebody else's community. until one day -- you wake up and it's not.

>> reporter: david wheeler along with the families of seven other newtown victims will travel to washington tonight with the president on air force one and will join the white house lobbying effort this week. it's an orchestrated media campaign designed to restore the moment for reform and counter the efforts of the pro gun lobby which stalled that momentum. vice president biden with police officials at the white house tomorrow and leading a gun safety discussion thursday on nbc. in between a rare policy speech by the first lady condemning gun violence in her hometown of chicago. all week the newtown families will be lobbying, senator by senator hoping overwhelming public support for increased background checks will convince congress to buck the powerful gun lobby , the nra. this week they called the bill congress is considering a threat to the rights of law-abiding gun owners . but the president has called on congress simply to act.

>> we need a vote. [ chanting ]

>> reporter: while it's unclear when they are going to get that vote, the president made a plea to gun owners saying he believes in the second amendment, that he understands their rights and why they want to own a gun. he is simply trying to stop random violence , brian.

>> chuck todd traveling with the president tonight in connecticut . chuck, thanks.