Since Friday, it has been difficult to miss President Obama’s emotional response to the horrific elementary school massacre in Connecticut.
“I have never seen this president, who is always calm and collected, so shaken by an event like this,” said Rep. John Larson (D-CT), who appeared on Monday’s NOW With Alex Wagner. ”He said that this was the worst thing that’s happened in his presidency.”
As a result, there are strong indications that action will emerge from emotion. On Sunday, President Obama vowed to use the powers of his office to begin a dialogue aimed at stopping mass violence. As of Monday, though, the White House had not outlined any specific solutions.
“It’s a complex problem that will require a complex solution, said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Monday. “I don’t have a specific agenda to announce to you today.”
A Washington Post op-ed suggests the White House may want to take action sooner rather than later. “Obama has a unique opportunity: a lame-duck session of Congress,” wrote the former domestic policy adviser to President Lyndon B. Johnson, Joseph Califano. “If he learns from the lesson of LBJ — two weeks to get action — and takes advantage of the fact that many members can vote their conscience without fear of retribution by the gun lobby because they are not seeking reelection, this nation may ‘complete the task’ of passing comprehensive gun controls.”
Already, it appears the political tide may be turning in favor of gun control, with prominent NRA-backed politicians urging lawmakers to take a look at serious, broad-based solutions to stopping gun violence.
“This is a moment when Congress is more vulnerable, I think, to the opprobrium and disgust of the American people than they are to the NRA,” said TheGrio.com’s Joy Reid.