Rubio slams Obama on new gun proposals

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Rubio's comments on the Laura Ingraham show came shortly before Obama unveiled the specifics of his new efforts to reduce gun violence.

Rubio, often mentioned as a likely 2016 presidential candidate, said it would have been better if Obama had decided to announce his proposals without being accompanied by children. Obama was joined at the press conference by children who wrote to the president in response to the December shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that resulted in 26 dead.

"I think ultimately he has a right to do that, and I understand he has a right to do that," Rubio said. "I think most of us would have preferred if it just had been a straightforward address to the country because it implies that somehow those of us who do not agree with his public policy prescriptions don’t equally care about children."

Vice President Biden, who directed a task force that passed recommendations on reducing gun violence to Obama, also joined the president at the event.

Rubio called Democrats' interest in pushing a new assault-weapons ban "misplaced."

"I think it's completely misplaced. Because here's the issue in this public policy debate that's different from others: There is a constitutional right to bear arms," Rubio said. "I did not create that and he cannot erase that. It is in the Constitution. If they want to change the Constitution, if they want to believe the Second Amendment should not be in there or if they believe it should be rewritten in the 21st century then let them have the guts to stand up and propose that."

But until they do that, Rubio continued, "then they've got to abide by it. And if you're going to pass a bunch of laws that are not going to work but are going to infringe on the Second Amendment right of law abiding citizens you're going to have a problem with that."

At the press conference Obama announced that he planned to make 23 executive actions on gun violence. Obama said he planned to nominate Todd Jones to become the new director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Obama also called on Congress to pass legislation requiring a universal background check for guns and a limit on bullets in magazine clips.