With the American public losing its fervor for gun control, President Obama is hard-pressed to find momentum for his proposed gun legislation. His latest attempt came Thursday as he delivered another anti-gun speech alongside a collection of families affected by gun violence.
“We need everybody to remember how we felt 100 days ago and make sure that what we said at that time wasn’t just a bunch of platitudes, that we meant it,” Obama said.
The president has made a habit of using the victims of gun violence to push his agenda. With families of the Newtown, Conn., shooting victims, and slain Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton, the administration has focused on giving the gun-control movement a tragic face.
Their efforts may fall short in Congress however, as bipartisan negotiators struggle to find a middle ground. Several Republican senators, including Mark Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have threatened to filibuster the Democratic gun-control proposal.
“There are some powerful voices on the other side who are interested in running out the clock,” Obama said of his opponents. “They are doing everything they can to make all our progress collapse under the weight of fear or frustration.”
As it stands, massive gun control reforms may be out of the president’s reach. Lawmakers on both sides of the issue seem content to pass new legislation on background checks for potential gun buyers, but Obama’s other suggestions, such as a ban on assault weapons, are likely to fall by the wayside.
Obama has lost much of the public support for gun control that he had in the weeks following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, perhaps signaling the need for a larger examination of the issue.
A recent CBS poll showed that just over 50 percent of American voters are still in favor of increased gun control measures, with just under 40 percent saying that they want the laws to stay the same.