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Obama: 'Too many of our children are being taken away from us'

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Obama discussed the hardships of being raised by a single mom and the importance of fatherhood, and his speech included nods to gun control and other proposals from his State of the Union address meant to help the poor move up to middle-class lives.

Speaking in Hyde Park, where a 17-year-old was recently gunned down just days after performing at his inauguration, Obama said that no law or set of laws “can prevent every senseless act of violence in this country.”

And he emphasized putting forth as much focus on the social aspects of communities, saying that this is “not just a gun issue.”

“When a child opens fire on another child, there is a hole in that child’s heart that government can’t fill, only community and parents and teachers and clergy can fill that hole,” he said, speaking before students, faculty and community leaders. “There are entire neighborhoods where young people, they don’t see an example of somebody succeeding. For a lot of young boys and young men in particular, they don’t see an example of fathers or grandfathers, uncles who are in a position to support families and be held up and respected.”

Obama acknowledged the obstacles before him in pushing for gun-control, which is seen in dramatically different lights in different parts of the country.

“The experience of gun ownership is different in urban areas than it is in rural areas,” Obama said. “But these proposals deserve a vote in Congress. They deserve a vote.

“We all share a responsibility as citizens to fix it,” he added.

For more on Obama's remark, click here.