NEW YORK -- President Barack Obama should not bother trying to pass gun-control legislation because the issue is partly cultural and Obama is from an urban area, former President Bill Clinton said Thursday.
Clinton was asked about the gun issue during his keynote address at a New York City conference on sustainability.
The former president said Obama is from Chicago and "he was in the state Senate from the most liberal district in Chicago."
Clinton said he was able to sign the 1993 Brady handgun law, which mandated federal background checks for gun buyers, because he was from Arkansas, had grown up among hunters and had hunted in his youth.
"I knew what to do," Clinton said. "They couldn't turn me into some freak, and I went after them."
He added, "I have an unusual cultural advantage to deal with this on a legislative basis."
Likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told the National Rifle Association last week that Obama would like to erode gun owners' rights. But the topic has rarely arisen during Obama's time in office, and gun-control advocates have expressed disappointment with the president.
Clinton also mentioned the Romney aide who last month compared his candidate's shift from the primary fight to the general election to an Etch A Sketch.
"He told the truth," Clinton said. "Sometimes it's the worst sin you can commit in politics."