4/8/2013 12:48:00 PM Obama to bring some Sandy Hook families to D.C.on AF1
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is bringing 11 relatives of those killed in the shooting at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School to Washington on Air Force One on Monday so they can personally encourage senators to back gun legislation that faces tough opposition.
A nonprofit organization that works with the families, Sandy Hook Promise, said that after Obama’s speech on gun control in Hartford, he is flying with relatives of seven children and one staffer killed during December’s massacre at the school. The White House says Obama is going to argue that lawmakers have an obligation to the children killed and other victims of gun violence to act on his proposals.
Gun legislation could come up for debate in the Senate this week after lawmakers return from spring break. The Sandy Hook families want to speak this week to senators who have not so far voiced support for the legislation to ask for support in memory of their children and the staff that was killed Dec. 14. The White House offered to give them a ride so they could also attend Obama’s speech before their lobbying push.
“The group is encouraging senators to come together around legislative proposals that will both save lives and respect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans,” Sandy Hook Promise said in a statement.
Obama plans to invoke the memories of the 26 students and staff members killed. He is speaking at the University of Hartford, near the state capitol where last week the governor signed into law some of the nation’s strictest gun control laws.
But legislation in Washington faces a tougher challenge, with the nation’s memories of the shooting fading with time and a formidable campaign by the National Rifle Association to keep members of Congress from support gun legislation. Senators were negotiating Monday in search of a deal to expand background checks for gun buyers, but the prospects for an agreement were still uncertain.
Senate leaders say there are not enough votes for Obama’s push for an assault weapons ban.