"We need that action, and we owe it to the victims."
It's been 100 days since the horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Massachusetts, 100 days since a heartbroken America declared that we had to take action to prevent more mass shootings, and 100 days of Congress still not doing anything about gun control. In a speech at the White House on Thursday for the National Day to Demand Action, President Obama made it clear that the foot dragging has to end.
Parents of the children slain in Newtown, as well as the mother of Hadiya Pendelton, the 14-year-old murdered just days after performing at Obama's second inauguration, looked on as the President condemned the inaction. "Tears aren't enough. Expressions of sympathy aren't enough," and "speeches aren't enough," he said.
In the wake of the Newtown shooting, hundreds of thousands of Americans signed petitions calling for legislation that limits access to guns, and Obama said that a full 90 percent of Americans support background checks, but the problem is the gun lobby is "running up the clock" and hoping Americans move on and forget. Indeed, critics have complained that Obama has waited too long to do something about gun violence, and so America's forgotten the emotional rawness we all felt after the massacre. "Shame on us if we have forgotten. I have not forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we have forgotten," Obama said.
Although the President said he expects action on the issue after Congress returns from its Easter break, he also made it clear that we need more than activists clamoring for change. The general public also has to step up and tell Congress we won't settle for more politicking on the issue. "We need that action, and we owe it to the victims," he said.
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