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Pittsburghers React To Obama's Call For Action On Gun Violence

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- President Obama on Wednesday challenged Americans to rethink how we can reduce gun violence.

"The fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. The fact that we can't prevent every act of violence doesn't mean we can't steadily reduce the violence and prevent the very worst violence," the President noted.

An unscientific sampling of opinion in Market Square found unanimity that we can't go back to business-as-usual.

KDKA's Jon Delano Reports:

"I think we should take a closer look at gun control," said Karen Reed of Plum.

That's part of what the President asked a task force led by Vice President Biden to do in the next several weeks.

"Handguns to protect yourself might be one thing," added Reed. "If you like to shoot deer, that's another thing. But a semi-automatic weapon I don't think is necessary."

It was a common response.

"You need to get rid of assault weapons," said Diane Powers of Mt. Lebanon. "I mean that is something that just has to be done away with. It's absolutely crazy."

"Submachine guns and automatic AK-47s, that's just not necessary to protect you and your home," added Bryan Brantley of the Northside.

But some are skeptical of an assault weapon ban.

"I wouldn't say to totally ban them. I think the person who has the arm is the person with the mechanism. There is something dysfunctional with them, not the weapon," said Greg LaFace of Forest Hills.

But he also questioned easy access to military-style clips.

"If you're a hunter to go out and shoot one deer, you just need one bullet," he said.

Many said schools also need to do more.

"There also needs to be more protection and security at our schools absolutely, and I know school districts do everything they can, but I absolutely believe that there must be measures to make our schools safer," noted Cecelia Coughlin of Plum.

Watch President Obama's Statement:

And echoing the President, others said mental health must be part of the discussion.

"We have to be more aware of reading the warning signals of troubled kids," said Terri Thompson of Forest Hills.

Obama Sets Up Gun Violence Task Force (12/1912)
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