Americans Stand With Obama's Gun Control Pleas

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On Tuesday, President Obama delivered his fourth State of the Union address (his 2009 speech was technically not a State of the Union). He followed the traditional path of laying out his vision with a laundry list of policy ideas and priorities. As he suggested, all are needed to create more jobs, encourage more economic growth, and to keep America safe, while protecting its values of fairness and equal opportunity.

It was not until he called upon Congress to take up new proposals to curb gun violence that he became emotional and animated. It was a stark contrast to his address in 2009, delivered shortly after the tragedy in Tuscon, Ariz., when he failed to mention any need for gun control at all.

[See a collection of political cartoons on gun control and gun rights.]

Recent Quinnipiac University polling shows the majority of Americans are more supportive of a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons (56 percent to 39 percent) and more supportive of a nationwide ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines (56 percent to 40 percent) than members of Congress, and overwhelmingly support the president's position to require background checks for all gun buyers (92 percent to 7 percent).

In having the confidence of knowing where the American people stand and with Gabby Giffords in the audience, along with many other victims of gun violence, the president said, "This time is different." In a cadence often reserved for the pulpit, he called out the names of those individuals and communities who have suffered tragic losses and repeated the simple refrain, "They deserve a vote."

[Photos: President Obama's 2013 State of the Union Address]

It was a powerful moment in the speech, one that brought scores of lawmakers to their feet in thunderous applause, and one that the president can now use effectively to continue to build the necessary political support to pass common sense gun control measures.

Penny Lee

About Penny Lee Democratic Strategist

Tags
gun control and gun rights
State of the Union

Other Arguments

#1
67 Pts
State of the Union Was an Appeal for Gun Control Votes, Not Laws

No – State of the Union Was an Appeal for Gun Control Votes, Not Laws

Lara Brown Author of 'Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants'

#2
57 Pts
Obama's Speech Showed Concessions on Gun Control

No – Obama's Speech Showed Concessions on Gun Control

Jamie Chandler Political Scientist at Hunter College

#3
-49 Pts
Obama's Partisan Gun Language Is His Only Option

Yes – Obama's Partisan Gun Language Is His Only Option

Brandon Rottinghaus Associate Professor of Political Science

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