During the press conference, Mr. Obama directly addressed controversial issues such as immigration and the violence sparked by drug wars here. In previsit interviews, Mr. Calderón told US media that he would ask for a reinstatement of the lapsed assault-weapons ban.
Obama acknowledged that as a candidate he supported reinstating the ban that lapsed in 2004, but that it would be wiser turn to more realistic pursuits, like better enforcement of existing laws.
“I haven’t changed my opinion. [The ban] would make sense, I continue believing that,” he said. “[But] none of us is under the illusion that reinstating the ban would be easy.”
The goal, both Obama and Calderón emphasized, is not a utopian elimination of drugs and related violence, but a reduction to a more manageable level.
“Are we going to eliminate all drug flows? Are we going to eliminate all guns over the border? That’s not a not realistic objective,” Obama said. “What is a realistic objective is to reduce it so significantly – so drastically that it becomes once again a localized criminal problem as opposed to a major structural problem.”