There have been 3,099 gun related deaths since Newtown. That’s 3,099 daughters, sons, mothers, and fathers. It’s 3,099 future doctors, lawyers, teachers, lawmakers, and scientists. It’s 3,099 families whose lives have been turned upside down. There have been 3,099 victims of gun violence in just 100 days after the massacre at Newtown.
During a sobering press conference in which mothers of gun violence victims stood behind him, President Obama, along with Vice President Biden, reassured the country that Washington has not forgotten Newtown. Still, with a staggering amount of lives lost from gun violence in this country in just 100 days, many Americans are wondering if there’s still enough momentum to get back to work on this issue. They are waiting for and demanding change, with 90% of Americans agreeing that background checks should be mandatory in order to buy a gun.
The president we saw in the press conference wasn’t speaking as a politician. He was speaking, yes, as a father, but also as a community organizer. "Nothing is more powerful than millions of voices calling for change," Obama stated emphatically, before urging community members to raise their voices and help create change through a grassroots network. The president urged citizens to talk to their congressman and hold them accountable as Congress begins to look at legislation that would make background checks mandatory, that would be consistent with the Second Amendment, and would limit the amount of assault rifles and high capacity magazines being sold.
It’s been 100 days since Newtown, and many Americans feel that Washington has kicked the issue of gun control further and further down the road, sliding it under a pile of other things to get done. In his speech, President Obama set aside his pride and came before the country humbly, saying, "Shame on us if we’ve forgotten. Shame on us."
The issue now hangs on the shoulders of the entire country, and the president has promised to share that load with us as we work to make the country a safer place for our children. The president knows incredibly well the power of a strong grassroots movement, having built one of the strongest grassroots campaigns in American history for his presidency. He is now calling on each of us to help him once more in a united effort to tell Washington that the country hasn’t forgotten what happened at Newtown, Aurora, Virginia Tech.
This is a fight to save our children, not a fight to pass the issue onto them. As President Obama reminded us, "It’s not done until it’s done." So let’s get it done, America.