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President Obama returned to his hometown of Chicago on Friday to deliver a message connecting his gun safety measures with the larger economic theme of building “ladders of opportunity” to the middle class.

Speaking at the Hyde Park Academy, the president was introduced by his former White House chief of staff and current Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. The president said “it is good to be back home” before introducing Democratic Illinois governor Pat Quinn, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and other local leaders. He also acknowledged the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, the Chicago teen who was shot and killed in a South Side park only days after performing at the second inauguration in Washington.

“I’m here to make sure that we talk about and then work towards giving every child every chance in life,” the president said. “Building stronger communities and new ladders of opportunity that they can climb into the middle class and beyond. And most importantly, keeping them safe from harm.”

Here is the president’s full speech:


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