CHICAGO — It's far too easy for young people to get a gun in parts of Chicago — in some cases, easier than getting a book or fresh produce, President Barack Obama said Tuesday.
Addressing a conference of police chiefs meeting at McCormick Place Tuesday, Obama lamented how freely guns flow in cities like Chicago.
"It's easier for many young people to buy a gun then buy a book," he said. "It's easier to buy a gun than it is to find fresh vegetables in a supermarket. That's just a fact."
Obama also took issue with some critics who have said because gun crimes continue to be a problem in Chicago, which has some of the nation's strictest gun laws, gun control doesn't work.
"Sixty percent of guns recovered in crimes come from out of state," he said, quoting a Chicago police study. "You just have to hop across the border."
He repeatedly framed gun control as something that would help police officers do their jobs.
"Cops should not be out-armed by the criminals that they're pursuing," he said. He said police need propoer funding to fight crime.
"Supporting law enforcement, having a budget that backs it up ... reforming our criminal justice system so that it is smarter so we can reduce crime," he said.
Obama said he met with the families of police officers that had given their lives while on duty. He also met with the families of children in Chicago that were taken by gun violence.
"I do this too often, [meet] with grieving families," he said.
But, he says, "when I meet with these families I can't honestly tell them that this country has done everything we could to keep this from happening again."
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: