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President Obama / Carolyn Kaster, AP

President Obama wrapped up the final day of his first term Saturday with events devoted to opposing gun violence and promoting volunteer service.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama helped fix up an elementary school in Washington, D.C., publicizing a National Day of Service that Obama declared in connection with inaugural weekend and the Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday.

"This really what America's about," Obama said in praising volunteerism. "This is what we celebrate."

Earlier, the president touted his gun-control plan in his weekly radio address.

Obama takes the oath of office for a second term at noon on Sunday during a small ceremony at the White House. A public inaugural service will be held at the U.S. Capitol on Monday, when the president will deliver his second inaugural address.

In the Saturday radio address, taped late Friday, Obama discussed proposals to combat gun violence in the wake of the Dec. 14 elementary school shooting that killed 20 children and six adults in Connecticut.

They include a renewed assault-weapons ban, restrictions of the size of ammunition magazines, and universal background checks on gun buyers, as well as programs to address school safety and mental health treatment.

"While we may not be able to prevent every senseless act of violence in this country, if there is even one thing we can do to reduce it - if even one life can be saved - we've got an obligation to try," Obama said.

In the late morning, the First Family joined hundreds of other volunteers for a makeover of Burrville Elementary School in northeast Washington, D.C.

The presidential limo also had a new look on Obama's last full day of the first term: license plates with the words "Taxation Without Representation." The D.C. city government put the phrase on license plates to protest its lack of voting power in Congress, and the White House announced this week that Obama would begin using them.

Vice President Biden, wife Jill and members of their family also participated in a service event Saturday, helping pack toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, lint rollers, bandages and other toiletries in "care kits" for troops deployed overseas.

Biden will also be sworn in for his second term on Sunday.

Saturday evening, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden will host a concert and "Kids' Inaugural" in Washington, an event designed to honor military families.

"The Kids' Inaugural is about celebrating who we are as Americans and the people who make our country great - our men and women in uniform, our military spouses, and our amazing military kids," Mrs. Obama said in a statement.

The kids' event features musical performances by Katy Perry, Usher, actors from the television show Glee, and others.

Saturday's events capped a tumultuous first term for Obama, with historic events ranging from the raid that killed Osama bin Laden to the signing of a national health care law.

The first term also saw a major stimulus package of more than $800 billion, a set of new financial regulations, the completion of combat operations in Iraq, and a troop surge and withdrawal plan in Afghanistan.

"It's been a busy and productive four years," Obama said this week at a White House news conference. "And I expect the same for the next four years."

Economic development and debt reduction are major priorities of his second term, Obama added.

"We've got to create more jobs," he said. "We've got to boost the wages of those who have work. We've got to reach for energy independence. We've got to reform our immigration system. We've got to give our children the best education possible, and we've got to do everything we can to protect them from the horrors of gun violence."



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Obama wraps up his first term

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