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In a recent speech, President Obama said:

As a society, we choose to under-invest in decent schools. We allow poverty to fester so that entire neighborhoods offer no prospect for gainful employment. We refuse to fund drug treatment and mental health programs.

We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book.

And then we tell the police, “You’re a social worker; you’re the parent; you’re the teacher; you’re the drug counselor.” We tell them to keep those neighborhoods in check at all costs and do so without causing any political blowback or inconvenience; don’t make a mistake that might disturb our own peace of mind. And then we feign surprise when periodically the tensions boil over.

(Emphasis added, full transcript with video)

BuzzFeed News, have seized upon the emphasized portion above:

Obama: It's easier for a teenager to get his hands on a Glock than a computer...or even a book!

Is it easier for a teenager to get a Glock (or a hand gun in general) than a computer or a book, presumably in the United States?

closed as primarily opinion-based by DJClayworth, rjzii, user30557, March Ho, Oddthinking Jul 14 '16 at 12:51

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Seems pretty ludicrous to me. A book is harder to get than a gun!? Computer, maybe. If I were to take the time to answer, I'd ignore the book claim and focus on the computer only. – fredsbend Jul 13 '16 at 10:45
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    Anyone can get his hands on a book or computer for free by walking to the nearest public library. And almost every kid is walking around with a tiny rectangular computer in his pocket all day. – Dan Bron Jul 13 '16 at 11:36
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    We could answer this literally, but I don't think that will be a useful interpretation of what Obama meant. Any attempt to answer according to what Obama actually meant will be subjective, and thus not good for this site. – called2voyage Jul 13 '16 at 12:22
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    Given the comment about flooding communities, it appears to mean "easier" in the sense of most opportunities not least obstacles, possibly a reference to the great number of gun stores in the US (around 51,000) being more than double the dwindling number of bookstores (a little over 20,000). It's ambiguous though. There's enough controversy about this comment that it wouldn't be surprising if he comes back to clarify it. – user568458 Jul 13 '16 at 13:11
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    @fredsbend I agree that the interpretation is subjective, but I think DJ has a point. I really don't think the question as a whole is constructive unless Obama gives more clarity to what he intended to say. – called2voyage Jul 13 '16 at 17:14
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It depends on the age of the teenager, the type of gun, and the particular state or region within the USA.

If the teenager is 18 or 19 in many locations it is simply a matter of price. According to federal law, a hand gun can be legally purchased at age 18 and a long gun at any age. Some states further restrict gun sales, while others do not.

Dick's Sporting Goods for example sells several models of new rifles for under $200. Compare this to The new era of the $400 college textbook, which is part of the unsustainable higher education bubble.

Also, you only need to be 17 to join the military or national guard. Obviously if you join the military you will have some degree of access to guns, computers and books.

In some parts of the USA it is common for young children to use rifles or shotguns, but not handguns. See for example Rifle Deer Hunting Season Opening Day Closes School Doors:

At Bald Eagle Middle and Senior High School alone about 35 percent of the student body hunts, said district spokeswoman Rose Hoover

See also PA Game Commission sets 7 as minimum age for getting tags to hunt deer, turkeys

"We're not taking away the ability for the 2-year-old to shoot an antlered buck. If the parent decides, 'I think little Susie is ready to wail away' — go ahead. But they have to use their own tag."

Also, in some areas high schools have rifle teams. See High school rifle teams stay the course as national gun debate rages on.

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    This does nothing to compare with computers or books except the off hand comment: "Obviously if you join the military you will have some degree of access to guns, computers and books." – called2voyage Jul 13 '16 at 13:16
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    @called2voyage It's just a matter of price. You can get a gun for $200-$300. grabagun.com Less than a computer much more than a book. – DavePhD Jul 13 '16 at 13:21
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    @called2voyage is there something as a reliable textbook? If you count the older ones, maybe, but the newer ones used in some schools are depressing in how bad they are. – T. Sar Jul 13 '16 at 13:45
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    -1 - (1). the question wasn't whether it was "easy" but whether it was "easier than a book". (2) you summarily ignored gun control laws that make it almost impossible for even adults to buy a gun legally in many jurisdictions; (3) you summarily ignored public and school libraries. Matter of fact, based on #1, I'm really tempted to flag as NAA or VLQ. Sorry – user5341 Jul 13 '16 at 16:42
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    (4) $400 book is red herring, or cherry picking, or a host of other fallacies. He wasn't talking about rare specialized college textbooks. Or for that matter "textbooks" at all. Regular books can be easily had for free at the library, or for $1-$5 at used books bookstore or Amazon, or at $6-15 at bookstores. – user5341 Jul 13 '16 at 16:46

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