Arne Duncan: 'We Have Common Values That Go Far Beyond the Constitutional Right to Bear Arms'

By Susan Jones | December 27, 2012 | 10:19am EST

Education Secretary Arne Duncan says Americans' "common values... go far beyond' the Constitutional right to bear arms. (AP Photo)

( - Americans value their children, their safety, and the right to pursue their dreams without fear -- and those "common values" trump the rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said last Friday in a speech at a Washington, D.C., elementary school.

In the coming weeks, Duncan said he plans to spend a lot of time visiting schools and communities -- to talk about gun violence:

"I want to talk to gun owners and hunters and sport shooters and ask them, what should we do? I want to talk about community and responsibility, and I want to talk about values -- because we have common values that go far beyond the constitutional right to bear arms.

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"We value our children. We value our safety. We value our freedom to go to a movie theater or house of worship and do what we want to do so long as we are not compromising the freedom of others. We value the right to live our daily lives and pursue our dreams, without fear."

Duncan said the nation must learn from the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School:

"It's not the time to point fingers," he said "But we absolutely have to reassess a number of our society's value choices on issues like easy access to guns and limited access to mental health services."

President Obama has named Duncan to a task force led by Vice President Joe Biden to come up with proposals for reducing what Obama called the epidemic of gun violence.

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