President Barack Obama argued that involved fathers, positive role models, and "strong, stable families" are key to reducing violence and it's "not just a gun issue," in a speech he gave Friday in his former hometown of Chicago.
"There's no more important ingredient for success, nothing that would be more important for us reducing violence than strong, stable families -- which means we should do more to promote marriage and encourage fatherhood," Obama said. "Don't get me wrong -- as the son of a single mom, who gave everything she had to raise me with the help of my grandparents, I turned out okay."
Chicago is one of the most violent cities in America, where 40 people were killed by guns in the last month. First Lady Michelle Obama attended a funeral there last week for Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl, who was shot dead in a park a week after participating in the presidential inauguration, Reuters said.
"When a child opens fire on another child, there's 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. "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."