In the coming weeks, I’ll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens, from law enforcement, to mental health professionals, to parents and educators, in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this, because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine.But the initial move is plenty routine:
President Barack Obama will on Wednesday announce the first step on gun control following the Newtown school shootings: an interagency task force, led by Vice President Joe Biden, charged with guiding the administration’s continuing response.Ladies and gentlemen, the good old fashioned intergovernmental task force. In other words, don't expect any legislative push right away.
The 11:45 a.m. announcement will be the third time in five days Obama has addressed the massacre that killed 20 first-graders and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. And it will follow a call on Friday for “meaningful action” and his Sunday pledge to use the White House to “engage” Americans to prevent mass shootings.
According to a White House official, the president likely won’t make significant policy announcements but will instead explain how his administration will determine what to do next.
Obama spoke Monday with Biden and three Cabinet secretaries – Attorney General Eric Holder, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius — “to begin looking at ways the country can respond to the tragedy in Newtown,” the White House said.
Which is...sad methinks. This would be one of those moments where a bit of governmental overreach would probably do some good. Where a sticking your neck out might be a good thing. Yes, I know pragmatists will hemm and haw about getting "something" done no matter how miniscule. Possibly, in our best hopes, a commission of government officers will somehow find a way to stand for something big. Something important. Perhaps they will quickly come up with a series of executive orders or something that will maybe at least make some kind of meager progress.
But, it does really speak to a lack of imagination from this White House that the first response to a slaughter of children is a 'task force' to figure out what to do. It sucks for Joe Biden too. He can add this task force to his other one for the Middle Class which had its last meeting and report two and half years ago. I guess that worked out and now our middle class is awesome. May as well do it again.
President Obama said in Newtown:
We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society, but that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this.Surely.