Barack Obama rejected criticism on Thursday that he has delayed too long on gun reform, allowing memories of the Newtown shooting to fade and allowing time for opponents to regroup.
In a speech at the White House, attended by parents of gun victims, he said bluntly that the United States should be ashamed if the horror of Newtown was already being forgotten.
The president’s comments were part of National Day to Demand Action, organised jointly with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the campaign to put pressure on Congress to pass “commonsense” reforms driven by New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.
There have been complaints from gun reform activists that Obama has squandered an opportunity for action in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown shooting in December.
But Obama disputed that the country had moved on from Newtown. “Less than 100 days ago that happened. And the entire country was shocked, and the entire country pledged we would do something and this time would be different. Shame on us if we have forgotten. I have not forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we have forgotten,” he said.
Obama said he expected votes in the Senate on gun reform measures soon after Congress returns from its Easter break on 8 April. The relatively modest package of measures he proposed in January has already been scaled back, with a ban on military-style automatic weapons effectively scuppered and even background checks to keep guns out of the hands of those with mental problems in the balance.
One of the criticisms of Obama is that instead of asking vice-president Joe Biden to oversee a task force looking at proposals for reform in January and then leaving Congress to come up with a draft bill, he should have pushed his own set of proposals when emotions were still raw.
more here: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/03/28/obama-u-s-should-be-ashamed-if-horror-of-newtown-has-already-been-forgotten/