"Part of the challenge we confront is that even the slightest hint of some sensible, responsible legislation in this area fans this notion that somehow, 'Here it comes, everybody's guns are going to be taken away,' " Obama said Monday.
Getting any legislation passed may prove to be difficult.
The influential National Rifle Association, among other gun rights groups, has vowed to fight tooth and nail against any new gun restrictions -- like an assault weapons ban, which the group's president, David Keene, predicted Sunday wouldn't make it through Congress.
Polls support change
Although some officials have come out against new gun control laws, Americans as a whole are looking for some sort of change after the Newtown, Connecticut, shootings last month that took the lives of 20 grade school children and seven adults.
By a 51%-45% margin, Americans questioned in a new Pew Research Center poll said it was more important to control gun ownership than to protect gun rights.
And by a 52%-35% margin, a new ABC News/Washington Post survey indicates the public says it is more likely to support some forms of gun control after last month's massacre. However, the polls showed continuing divisions along political and gender lines.
Still, one Oregon resident warned against passing laws that would conflict with the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms.
"Constitutional changes must be made properly with Congressional and judicial approval, and by a majority of the citizens of the USA, not by the order of a tyrant in Washington D.C.!!!" said Rick Carter of Pendleton. "I stand with the brave Sheriff!"
The battle lines could not be clearer.