"The president realizes if he's going to be able to do anything on gun control he's going to have to act quickly," Tama says. "In this case, there's not a lot of research that needs to be done – we know what the issues are. So [the group] doesn't have to come up with brilliant, new ideas, it's just a matter of a group of people trying to figure out where the common ground is."
The president also indicated he was clear-eyed about the chances of anything happening if he tries to move forward by himself.
"Ultimately if this effort is to succeed, it's going to require the help of the American people," he said. "It will take commitment and compromise, and most of all it will take courage. But if those of us who were sent here to serve the public trust can summon even one tiny iota of the courage those teachers, that principal in Newtown summoned on Friday, if cooperation and common sense prevail, then I am convinced we can make a sensible, intelligent way to make the United States of America a safer, stronger place for our children to learn and to grow."
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Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter.