President Obama began the new year of 2016 with a video asking for the nation’s help in fighting one of its biggest problems: gun violence.
In his weekly presidential address Obama ran through the accomplishments of his administration from 2009 to present, including job creation, expansion of health insurance, lowered oil costs, and marriage equality. Then he spoke about the “unfinished business” of fighting the epidemic of gun violence.
Last month, we remembered the third anniversary of Newtown. This Friday, I’ll be thinking about my friend Gabby Giffords, five years into her recovery from the shooting in Tucson. And all across America, survivors of gun violence and those who lost a child, a parent, a spouse to gun violence are forced to mark such awful anniversaries every single day.
Obama then noted that even though a majority of homes support policies to expand background checks – even homes with NRA members – the Republican congress refuses to move ahead at the behest of the well-financed National Rifle Association.
As a result, Obama notes that “tens of thousands of our fellow Americans have been mowed down by gun violence.”
But even though its his last year in office, the President is not going to stand still on the issue, despite the threat of backlash from the NRA.
A few months ago, I directed my team at the White House to look into any new actions I can take to help reduce gun violence. And on Monday, I’ll meet with our Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, to discuss our options. Because I get too many letters from parents, and teachers, and kids, to sit around and do nothing. I get letters from responsible gun owners who grieve with us every time these tragedies happen; who share my belief that the Second Amendment guarantees a right to bear arms; and who share my belief we can protect that right while keeping an irresponsible, dangerous few from inflicting harm on a massive scale.
Obama doesn’t have to do this, he could sit in office for the next 12 months on his laurels and just accept the achievements that he’s accomplished. But he clearly wants to do more, and he’s going to get it done.
Featured image via YouTube