In the days and weeks following the Tucson shooting, lawmakers and activists have viewed the tragedy as an opportunity for reviving debate around gun control.
New York Representative Carolyn McCarthy, for example, introduced a bill prohibiting high-capacity ammunition magazines. Activists who have long organized around the toll of gun violence in urban black communities, such as the Reverend Al Sharpton, saw their efforts around gun accessibility momentarily boosted in the media.
Yet President Obama—who campaigned on promises to reinstate the assault weapons ban, among other restrictions—has pretty much kept to the sidelines. To the disappointment of many advocates, he didn’t mention the issue at all in last night’s State of the Union address.
That’s about to change, according to White House senior adviser David Plouffe.
“He’s going to address this,” Plouffe said on NBC Tuesday night, in response to criticism about Obama’s silence, explaining that the president will give a separate speech on the matter soon. He offered no details on which measures the president plans to target, aside from the assault weapons ban, leaving the event as a to-be-continued cliffhanger.
Whatever his current position, given the fierce protection of all things Second Amendment in this country, it’s sure to be another thorny issue for the president to win. But you never know—maybe the conversation will be different this time around?