'I respect the Second Amendment,' Obama said during a town hall hosted at George Mason University by CNN. 'I respect the right to bear arms. I respect people who want a gun for self-protection, for hunting, for sportsmanship.'The rhetoric around his gun control agenda, Obama said, 'is so over the top, and so overheated.'
The town hall took place just down the road from the headquarters of the top gun lobbying group in the country - the National Rifle Association - but it declined to participate in the event.
'I've said this repeatedly I'm happy to meet with them. I'm happy to talk to them,' Obama said, 'but the conversation has to be based on facts and truth and what we're actually proposing, not some...imaginary fiction in which Obama is trying to take away your guns.'