Obama: Family and Community Can Help Stop Youth Violence

During his speech on gun violence in Chicago on Friday, the president spoke about the power of community and family support to reduce youth violence, and said that he wished he'd gotten support from his own dad as a child.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty
Chip Somodevilla/Getty

“Ladders of success” and “marriage” were the catchphrases of President Obama’s speech on Friday regarding gun violence, family values and the economy at Chicago’s Hyde Park Academy. During his speech, the POTUS said that government alone can’t provide a solution to the gun-violence problem in the Windy City, because when a child shoots another child, “there is a hole in that child’s heart that government can’t fill,” reports the Chicago Tribune.

He went on to champion values of marriage, family, religion and community as the real drivers behind conquering his hometown’s epidemic:

… “In too many neighborhoods … the future only extends to the next street corner or the outstretches of town,” Obama said. Obama circled back to economic questions, saying that too many children in America lack the belief they will be able to succeed in life, and the country needs to fix that. “This is not just a gun issue,” he said.

And he called for strengthening the American [family:]”If a child grows up with parents who have work and some education and can be role models,” the child gets “a foundation” that helps them succeed, he said.

The president also referred to his own experience, the Washington Post reports, saying, “I wish I had a father that was around and involved.”

Read more and watch the speech at the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post.