The White House took their pitch against gun violence on the road Monday, amping up pressure on lawmakers to move forward with tougher legislation.
“We’re not going to wait until the next Newtown,” said President Obama during a speech on Monday to a crowd of law enforcement officials in Minneapolis, Minn. “We don’t have to agree on everything to agree it’s time to do something,” he said, giving a nod to the tough opposition he faces from members of Congress and the National Rifle Association on stricter gun control laws.
“Changing the status quo is never easy,” Obama said. “This will be no exception. The only way we can reduce gun violence in this country is if the American people decide it’s important, if you decide it’s important–parents and teachers, police officers and pastors, hunters and sportsmen, Americans of every background stand up and say, ‘This time, it’s got to be different.”’
The president said the new bill to reinstate the assault weapons ban deserves a vote in Congress. In a campaign-style move, he urged citizens to reach out to their local lawmakers and press them on assault weapons and high capacity clips, gun trafficking laws and universal background checks for all gun buyers.
Over the weekend, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would allow votes on legislation from Sen. Leahy’s Judiciary Committee and Sen. Feinstein’s bill to ban assault weapons.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, a pro-gun control group founded by New York City Michael Bloomberg, also appealed to the American public. The group sponsored a Super Bowl ad pushing lawmakers to pass more laws on background checks. The 30-second ad aired towards the end of halftime between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. Narrated by children, the clip plays “America the Beautiful” in the background and shows footage of the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre lobbying for more checks in 1999. LaPierre has since flip-flopped on the issue.