Friday, December 14, 2012

School massacre prompts brand-new 'We the People' petition, passes threshold in hours

The Sandy Hook massacre that occurred on Friday is so horrific words do not do it justice. With 27 dead, 20 of them children from a K-4 school, is this the straw that will break the camel's back of the NRA's grasp over Congress? A brand-new petition at the petition website at points to an answer: Yes.

The "We the People" website saw a petition started on Friday, and amazingly quickly, it has already reached the necessary number of signatures for an official administration response. The petition was begun on Friday, and while it is unclear when -- timewise -- the petition was begun, it couldn't have been started before the time of the shootings, or 9:30 a.m. EST.

In less than 10 hours, at the time of this writing, the petition had already reached more than 28,000 signatures. The petition says:
Immediately address the issue of gun control through the introduction of legislation in Congress.

The goal of this petition is to force the Obama Administration to produce legislation that limits access to guns. While a national dialogue is critical, laws are the only means in which we can reduce the number of people murdered in gun related deaths.

Powerful lobbying groups allow the ownership of guns to reach beyond the Constitution's intended purpose of the right to bear arms. Therefore, Congress must act on what is stated law, and face the reality that access to firearms reaches beyond what the Second Amendment intends to achieve.

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.
During his speech on Friday afternoon, U.S. President Barack Obama promised that he -- and presumably Congress -- would "take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics."

It is hard to see how this could be done with a divided Congress, a divided nation, an NRA with a stranglehold over Congress, and some citizens who feel that the Second Amendment says that every citizen in the country can have a gun, while SCOTUS says there is a "fundamental right to bear arms, one that cannot be violated by state and local governments."

"We the People" is a section of the website, launched on Sept. 22, 2011, used to petition the administration's policy experts. Petitions that meet a certain threshold of signatures -- currently 25,000 in a month -- will be reviewed by officials in the Administration and an official response will be issued.

The original threshold was set at 5,000 signatures, and was raised to 25,000 on Oct 3, 2011.

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