Shortly after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, it was fairly common to hear skepticism about President Obama's willingness to follow through when it came to proposals to reduce gun violence. Sure, the argument went, Obama was saying the right things in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, but would he stick with the issue?
At this point, I think the answer seems fairly plain. About 100 days after the Newtown shootings, the president hosted another event in the White House today, joined by parents and law-enforcement officials, demanding real reforms.
For those who can't watch clips online, this portion struck me as especially significant:
"There's absolutely no reason why we can't get this done. But the reason we're talking about it here today is because it's not done until it's done. And there are some powerful voices on the other side that are interested in running out the clock, or changing the subject, or drowning out the majority of the American people to prevent any of these reforms from happening at all. They're doing everything they can to make all of our progress collapse under the weight of fear and frustration, their assumption is that people will just forget about it."I read an article in the news just the other day wondering 'Has Washington Missed Its Opportunity?' because as time goes on after Newtown, somehow people start moving on and forgetting. Let me tell you, the people here, they don't forget. Grace's Dad's not forgetting. Hadiya's Mom hasn't forgotten. The notion that two months or three months after something as horrific as what happened in Newtown happens and we've moved onto other things? That's not who we are. That's not who we are."And I want to make sure every American is listening today. Less than 100 days ago, that happened. And the entire country was shocked. And the entire country pledged that we would do something about it and this time it would be different. Shame on us if we've forgotten. I haven't forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we've forgotten."
We don't yet know whether Congress will even consider popular measures that enjoy overwhelming public support, but it appears the White House's commitment has not changed.