President Obama emotionally spoke to Congress on Thursday about ending gun control. He shamed Congress for not putting in place tougher measures to prevent gun violence. He asked voters to pressure their representatives in the White House into supporting new gun laws.
The President spoke from the White House. He was in the company of mothers of victims who died in shootings. According to FoxNews.com, he raised issues on the shocking deaths of young children at the Newtown elementary school in 2012: “Less than 100 days ago that happened. … Shame on us if we’ve forgotten.” He said not to forget the children who died: “I haven’t forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we’ve forgotten.”
The momentum to change gun laws may be at a stall of the cost of implementing the laws. The President told lawmakers: “Don’t get squishy,” according to FoxNews.com.
According to CNN, the President’s voice was somber and angry. The audience included family members of Newtown victims. Polls conducted recently suggest public backing for major new gun laws has declined.
Republican Sen. Mike Lee, of Utah, criticized Obama for the speech. He opposed the proposals the President wanted: “The proposals the president is calling for Congress to pass would primarily serve to reduce the constitutionally protected rights of law-abiding citizens while having little or no effect on violent crime,” according to FoxNews.com.
Lee implied the President was exploiting the elementary school tragedy to get his proposals passed: “It is deeply unfortunate that he continues to use the tragedy at Newtown as a backdrop for pushing legislation that would have done nothing to prevent that horrible crime,” according to FoxNews.com. In December 2012, a lone gunman killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
The bill will involve universal background checks, punishments for illegal trafficking, and money for school security. There is not as much controversy over school security, but there is debate over background checks and gun show buys.
According to CNN, gun legislation may pass the Democratic-led Senate, but not the Republican-controlled House. Obama rejected arguments the measures would take away Americans of their constitutional right to bear arms: “What we’re proposing is not radical. It’s not taking away anyone’s guns rights,” the president said in warning legislators against getting “squishy because time has passed and maybe it’s not on the news every day,” according to CNN.
The National Rifle Association, during and after the President’s comments, tweeted to oppose the President’s push on the proposals. The group is stepping up efforts to persuade Congress against the bill.