Concluding his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama invoked the families of recent gun violence victims, who attended the speech to represent the need for gun violence prevention measures. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) stood in respect.
Obama talked with emotion about 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was gunned down shortly after performing in Obama’s inaugural parade. He then recognized the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, the Aurora theater shooting, the Sikh temple shooting, the Tucson shopping center shooting and the Virginia Tech shooting:
Hadiya’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote. Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence — they deserve a simple vote.
The NRA recently dismissed the grief of these families as “the Connecticut effect,” which would subside in time for the lobbying group to continue to push a radical gun agenda.
Obama’s gun regulation plan calls for universal background checks, expanded mental health care services, improving gun ownership databases and a ban on high capacity magazines.