Obama remains steadfast on gun control legislation
HARTFORD, Conn. — With time running out on the chance to pass gun control legislation, President Obama on Monday warned Congress not to use delaying tactics against tighter regulations and told families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims that he's “determined as ever” to honor their children with tougher laws.
Obama's gun control proposals have run into resistance on Capitol Hill, leaving their fate in doubt. Efforts by Senate Democrats to reach a compromise with Republicans over expanding required federal background checks have yet to yield an agreement, and conservatives were promising to try blocking the Senate from even beginning debate on gun control legislation.
“The day Newtown happened was the toughest day of my presidency,” Obama said in an emotional speech from Connecticut's capital, an hour's drive from Newtown. “But I've got to tell you, if we don't respond to this, that'll be a tough day for me, too.”
Some of the Sandy Hook families are making an attempt to push through legislation. Obama met with them before his speech at the University of Hartford, then brought 12 family members back to Air Force One for the trip back to Washington. The relatives want to meet with senators who've yet to back the legislation.
The families' lobbying trip was organized by Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit started by community members after the shooting.
“The group is encouraging senators to come together around legislative proposals that will both save lives and respect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans,” the group said in a statement.
With time running out on negotiations, the White House is making an all-hands-on-deck push this week. Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder planned to promote their plan at the White House on Tuesday with law enforcement officials. First lady Michelle Obama will wade into the debate on Wednesday with a speech on youth violence in Chicago. And on Thursday, Biden will take part in a discussion on MSNBC's “Morning Joe” with people who have different views on gun control.