Early today, 27 people were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty of those victims were children, between the ages of 5 and 10-years-old. An emotional President Obama addressed the shooting this afternoon, and in response, a White House petition was started calling for stricter gun control laws. That petition has quickly reached, and surpassed, the 25,000 signatures required to merit an official response from the White House.
“Immediately address the issue of gun control through the introduction of legislation in Congress,” reads the title of the petition, posted on the White House’s official website. “The signatures on this petition represent a collective demand for a bipartisan discussion resulting in a set of laws that regulates how a citizen obtains a gun.”
There have been several other petitions raised to the site this year, most notably a Texas secession petition and a farcical petition for the US government to build a “Death Star” as a tool of national defense. While both of those petitions passed the 25,000 signature threshold required to merit an official response from the Obama Administration, they took days, if not weeks, to do so.
The gun control petition, posted as a response to the Connecticut school shooting massacre, did it in an afternoon.
The initial White House response to the Connecticut school shooting came from Press Secretary Jay Carney, who said that today was not the day for a gun control debate, reports ABC News. “There is, I am sure — will be, rather — a day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates, but I do not think today is that day,” he said.
Politico reports that during President Obama’s official response to the massacre, he hinted toward a coming gun control debate, pledging “meaningful action to prevent tragedies like this regardless of the politics.”
Additionally, Twitter has exploded with countless posts regarding the issue of gun control. The White House petition is being circulated there as well.
President Obama has not addressed previous petitions that have crossed the 25,000 signature threshold. However, in light of the events at Sandy Hook Elementary, we’d guess that if he’s going to respond to any petition, he’ll respond to this one.
Did you sign the White House petition calling for stricter gun control?