President Obama and Joe Biden laid out their gun control plan at the White House today, calling for a $500 million program in front of a number of children who had written the president asking that he tackle gun violence. Biden got the first word, boasting that his team had consulted 229 groups, from law enforcement to gun advocacy organizations, along with mayors, governors, and congressmembers, before making its recommendations. "The world has changed, and it's demanding action," he said.
Obama then took the podium to talk specifics. As expected, he called for universal background checks—which, he said, 70% of NRA members supported—and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, which he noted that Ronald Reagan, too, had called for. But he predicted that they would still be hard to pass, that some people would soon be "publicly warning of a tyrannical all-out assault on liberty." He urged people, even in traditionally gun-friendly areas, to push legislators for change. "Ask them what's more important: Getting an A-grade from the gun lobby … or giving parents some peace of mind when they drop their child off for first grade." He finished by signing what he said were 23 executive orders intended to immediately address the issue. The Brady campaign praised the plan, Politico notes, applauding the White House for "tremendous leadership." (Read more Barack Obama stories.)