photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with Tara Benwell - Instructions:
1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

dateline: 06 January 2016

Obama in Tears Over Gun Control

Listen to the news in English with Tara Benwell

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • press conference: a major announcement or update made with the media present
  • massacre: the violent killing of many people
  • unveil: to release or show new information or a new product
  • executive order: a rule or law made by the president without Congress (a new president or judge can reverse the orders)
  • initiative: a plan for change
  • background check: an investigation into a person’s profile (e.g., criminal past, health)
  • enforcement: the act of making sure a rule or law is followed

Obama in Tears Over Gun Control

US President Barack Obama was while talking about gun violence in the US at a press conference on Tuesday. A number of Americans who have lost children in recent gun massacres the president as he unveiled his planned executive orders on gun control. One of the initiatives is to “bring the background check system into the 21st century”. Another is to increase mental health treatment and reporting to the background check system. The president is also calling for more to research gun safety as well as better enforcement of existing gun laws.

Comprehension Questions

  1. According to this report, who was crying at this press conference?
  2. What was the purpose of the press conference?
  3. What does the report mention about mental health?

Discussion Questions: Obama put two questions forward to the American public at the press conference: 1) If there’s an app to find a lost tablet, why can’t we find a lost or stolen gun? 2) If we can unlock a mobile phone with a fingerprint, why can’t we have something similar on a gun? Do you think these gun safety measures could be a reality in America in the near future? Why or why not?

show Answers

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

5 Comments on Obama in Tears Over Gun Control

  1. Mathias Yonli says:

    thanks for your great work.

  2. issouf zanne says:

    Thanks to Tara , i am students coming from a country where speaking english is seldom! so i am learning whit you !

  3. Tara Benwell says:

    Hi, Roxanne!

    Thanks for your comment. I don’t think the report states whether or not President Obama’s tears were genuine or not, but I appreciate that you taught our learners a useful idiom: crocodile tears (a display of sadness that is not genuine). I believe President Obama had Sandy Hook parents in the room at the time.

    BTW – Are you Canadian? You mentioned that you were a fellow Canadian, but also mentioned “your president” so I was a bit confused by this message. Anyhow, it’s interesting to hear different opinions on gun control. I hope some others will weigh in.


  4. Roxanne Williams says:

    That is the biggest load of baloney! Barack Obama reversed the strict gun control laws in the capital, Washington, D.C., when he first took presidency. Washington, D.C. had the highest crime rate in the country until George W.Bush put in place a buy back gun program, where D.C. police bought back thousands of guns. The crime rate, drastically dropped….until Barack Obama reversed the gun law, and allowed anyone to register automatic assault rifles, carry guns, and purchase guns within the city limits of D.C.. I know, because I lived there!

    I know, we all want to believe that our president really feels and cares about the public and the effects of gun violence, but the truth is….his policy has made the problem worse. He is the master of the photo op and manipulating the media. A little bit of honest research proves those tears to be of the crocodile variety.

    I don’t blame you for buying into the public perception, as a fellow Canadian, we expect honesty and integrity from our government!

  5. sari says:

    nice…..we learn lots of …thanks tara

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