Sit in on the White House conf call on banning AR-15s (AUDIO)

With a “We The People” petition to ban civilian ownership of the AR-15 gaining 180,000 signatures, the White House held a special call with Valerie Jarrett on Monday.

The audio, which starts at about the 9:10 mark above, to which thousands of people RSVP’d and submitted questions for was joined by Jarrett who is listed as the “Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement.”

Jarrett told those on the call that the sort of gun violence seen in the U.S. is on a scale not seen in any other industrialized country, though she did acknowledge that two out of three gun deaths in the nation are from suicide. Then the conversation quickly turned to gun prohibition.

“These are weapons of war,” said Jarrett, who went on to promise the White House is doing all it can to work with the Social Security and Veterans’ Administrations to hammer out polices to keep dangerous people from having guns, with Congress to pass legislation strengthening background checks and towards policies that use the federal government’s purchasing power towards smart gun research.

To questions that the White House is trying to take AR-15s from law-abiding citizens, Jarrett said that the “threat from assault weapons is far greater than any possible benefit” and said President Obama is not looking to take any gun away.

“We wouldn’t take a gun away from anyone,” said Jarrett.

Vice President Joe Biden on Friday responded to a petition urging a prohibition on AR-15 ownership by saying, “The president and I agree with you. Assault weapons and high-capacity magazines should be banned from civilian ownership.”

And here is Biden’s personal message to petition signers.