The president’s executive actions punctuate Democrats’ emboldened approach to an issue the party is now eager to run on — rather than from
By Dan Friedman / The Trace
In a press conference immediately following the fatal shooting of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012, White House spokesman Jay Carney shrunk from linking the massacre to a push for more restrictive gun laws. There will be “a day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates, but I do not think today is that day,” Carney said. It wasn’t quite the “thoughts and prayers” that have drawn Republicans criticism from reform advocates after recent headline-grabbing gun violence, but it was close.
Three years later, such reticence is long gone. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama, whose frustration with the continued carnage showed in a bout of tears, made good on his vow last fall to “politicize” shootings, and did so in vivid terms. At the end of a speech introducing his new executive actions to curb gun violence, Obama cited the heroism of Zaevion Dobson, a 15-year-old high school football player from Tennessee. Dobson died shielding three girls from gunfire shortly before Christmas, and Obama told Dobson’s story to justify his own moves — and to shame lawmakers into taking action of their own.
“I’m not asking people to have that same level of courage, or sacrifice, or love,” Obama said. “But if we love our kids and care about their prospects, and if we love this country and care about its future, then we can find the courage to vote.”
For the complete article, click here.