I guess it would be too much to ask to hope that President Obama might concentrate primarily on national security, economic growth, and jobs growth in tonight’s State of the Union speech. The obligatory reference to so-called gun violence (sic) along with a pledge to keep pushing gun control with or without the aid of Congress.
Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day. I have seen the courage of parents, students, pastors, and police officers all over this country who say “we are not afraid,” and I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook.
The British paper The Guardian notes, however, that it seems the First Lady has somewhat shifted her focus from gun control issues. The point out that she had four invitees last year post-Newtown to push the issues. This year the sole invitee representing “gun violence” is the school bookkeeper from Atlanta who talked a school shooter into giving up the gun.
From four invitees in 2013, the number of guests of the first lady invited this year to spotlight the problem of gun violence in the US is one. She is Antoinette Tuff, a bookkeeper from Georgia credited with preventing a shooting at an elementary school in an Atlanta suburb by talking the would-be shooter out of it.
Otherwise, the makeup of Michelle Obama’s viewing box for Tuesday night’s speech is largely unchanged from a year ago. Among her 22 guests (Jill Biden and Valerie Jarrett aside) are small businesses’ proprietors and employees, overachieving students, young immigrants, beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act and a wounded veteran.
President Barack Obama ended his 2013 State of the Union speech with an emotional call for Congress to vote on new gun legislation. Underscoring the point was the presence in the first lady’s visitor box of the parents of a Chicago teenager killed in gun violence; a police lieutenant who was shot 15 times when he responded to the mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin; and a teacher at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
Let’s hope this is a harbinger of things to come.
UPDATE: Here is a link to a video clip of Obama and this part of his State of the Union address. I’m linking because it is an auto-play video.