While President Obama pushed for stronger gun control Monday at the University of Hartford, students and guests who heard him speak at the Chase Family Arena had mixed views about his chances for success.
U Hart Freshman Jesse Prante says President Obama's visit to Hartford sends a strong message to Congress. "It's unreal that it happened here," he said. "Him coming here just shows the togetherness of the nation." Before the event, hundreds of students like Prante waited in lines that stretched around the arena. They stood and shouted each time the president made a point in his push for universal background checks, and stronger gun laws. The president's speech also motivated a crowd that included first responders and education officials. But West Hartford resident Ray Rossomand says there's still a tough fight ahead. "There are a lot more areas of the country that need to come along," said Rossomando. U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, who spoke to reporters minutes before the President took the podium, says stricter gun laws in Washington could help curb violence in Connecticut's urban areas. "We hope that this bill ultimately addresses the crimes that happen in the streets of Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven, including the mass shootings that we've seen far too many of." Obama also called to strengthen school safety and support for mental health.