Make no mistake about it — President Obama is serious about reducing gun violence and is willing to take on the the powerful gun lobby to do it.
If you need evidence, just look to the response from a gun control community that has spent years on the political sidelines to Obama’s emotional speech Wednesday at the White House.
“We are extremely happy both with his report and with the remarks he gave at the White House press conference that just concluded,” Ladd Everitt, spokesperson for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, told TPM minutes after Obama finished outlining his plans.
“The executive order he signed today is critically important and, in conjunction with the legislative package he has referred to Congress, could put our nation on a path to a place where days like December 14, 2012 will no longer be possible,” Everitt said, referring to the date of the Newtown shooting.
The Brady Campaign, one of the nation’s oldest gun control advocacy groups, was also effusive after Obama’s remarks.
“The White House has shown tremendous leadership in convening stakeholders and engaging the country in a conversation that the Brady Campaign and so many Americans have been calling for in the wake of Aurora, Newtown, and the 32 gun murders that happen every day in our country,” Brady president Dan Gross said in a statement.
The National Rifle Association has already made clear its feelings about Obama’s gun violence plans, releasing lobbyists on Capitol Hill to kill Obama’s call for a ban on high capacity magazines and a new version of the ban on so-called assault weapons. The NRA launched a TV ad Tuesday that called Obama an “elitist hypocrite” on guns because his daughters have armed security at school.
Among the proposals announced by Obama announced Wednesday: federal money schools could use to hire armed officers.
The White House response to the NRA ad was a further indication that Obama intends to take on the NRA and gun lobby as he tries to reduce gun violence.
“To go so far as to make the safety of the President’s children the subject of an attack ad is repugnant and cowardly,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.