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Obama talks Chicago violence and murders with MTV News
President Obama took time to answer questions from MTV viewers in a special segment called “Ask Obama Live: An MTV Interview With the President” hosted by MTV News’ Sway Calloway.
Obama largely covered his boilerplate campaign statements, but did take time to talk about the murder and violence epidemic in Chicago, pointing out that shootings happen just blocks from his Kenwood home:
“I live on the South side of Chicago,” said Obama, who lives in the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood. “Some of these murders are happening just a few blocks from where I live. I have friends whose family members have been killed.”
“What I know is that gun violence is part of the issue,” he said. “But part of the issue also is kids who feel so little hope and think their prospects for the future are so small that their attitude is, ‘I’m going to end up in jail or dead.’ And they will take all kinds of risks.”
“If they’ve got mental health issues, are they getting the kind of services and counseling that they need early on?” he said.
“Are we making those investments in those young people so that by the time they’re 11, 12, 13, 15 … they can make responsible choices because they feel they’ve got something at stake?”
This interview comes on the same weekend that Chicago tied its total murder count from 2011 with 435 homicides – before the end of October this year.
The interview first aired Friday live and you can catch the rest of the segments here.
MTV – and its viewers – have come a long way in covering elections and the questions asked since this watershed moment in American history: