President Barack Obama directly addressed a popular White House petition to enact tougher gun control laws in a YouTube video Friday.
The petition on the administration’s We the People page, demanding that the Obama administration “Immediately address the issue of gun control through the introduction of legislation in Congress,” has received 197,073 signatures from Americans all over the United States. Obama asked the petitioners to keep pressuring Congress for a change in legislation.
“It’s going to take a sustained effort from mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, law enforcement officials and responsible gun owners standing up and saying enough on behalf of all our kids,” Obama said.
“You’ve started something and now I’m asking you to keep at it,” he added.
Wednesday, Obama announced that he had appointed Vice President Joe Biden to lead a task force addressing school safety, mental health support, and a wider culture of violence. In the immediate aftermath of the shootings, the president also indicated that he would support efforts from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to reinstate the assault weapons ban that was allowed to expire in 2004.
Following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 26 people—including 20 first-graders—were killed, Americans have signaled a willingness to reform gun laws. Lawmakers with high ratings from the National Rifle Association, including Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Rep. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., have said they’ll re-visit gun control laws.
So far, however, the most prominent Republican to back new gun control legislation has been outgoing Sen. Scott Brown.