Obama: “Shame On Us If We’ve Forgotten” Newtown
President Barack Obama appeared forceful and emotional yesterday as he spoke about gun control amid falling support for the measures. The president directly connected the push for new laws with the shooting last December in Newtown, CT, saying “the entire country pledged we would do something about it and that this time would be different.”
“If enough members of Congress take a stand for cooperation and common sense and lead and don’t get squishy because time has passed and maybe it’s not on the news every single day,” the president said, “if that’s who we are, that’s our character that we’re willing to follow through on commitments that we say are important, commitments to each other and to our kids, then I’m confident we can make this country a safer place for all of them.”
Support for new gun control legislation has fallen 10% since the immediate aftermath of the Newtown shootings. Meanwhile, gun sales have surged- as they did after Obama’s re-election, and after the shooting in Tuscon, and after the shooting Aurora. None of those events resulted in additional federal gun control laws.
The Democrat-controlled Senate is set to consider gun control legislation when it returns from recess in early April, but majority leader Harry Reid has already announced that it will not include an assault weapons ban or a ban on high capacity ammunition cartridges. Neither measure was ever considered likely to succeed, and didn’t even have the votes to pass the Senate, much less the Republican-controlled House. A measure requiring universal background checks for gun sales is likely to pass, though even this minor action faces stiff opposition.
Obama’s public appearance came on a “Day of Action” coordinated by gun control advocates.
At the same time, new details about the Newtown shooting became available; including the revelation that alleged shooter Adam Lanza possessed a small arsenal of weapons, and that his mother had written him a check to buy another gun as a holiday present.
[via The LA Times; image by Susan Walsh/AP]