The Washington Times - December 21, 2012, 06:01AM

President Obama is calling for a sustained national grass-roots campaign for gun control and other measures to curb an outbreak of mass shootings like the one last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary school.

In the last week, an online petition calling for Congress to immediately act on the issue of gun control posted on the White House’s “We the People” section has garnered 400,000 signatures, making it one of the most popular petitions during Mr. Obama’s first term.

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In a video response to the petition, Mr. Obama called on Americans across the country who are fed up with the outbreaks of violence to keep the pressure on Congress to act.

“If we are going to succeed, it’s going to take a sustained effort from mothers, fathers, and daughters and sons, law enforcement, responsible gun owners to speak up and call their congressmen as many times as it takes,” Mr. Obama said in the video. “Standing up and saying enough is enough on behalf of our kids — that’s how change happens. Because of committed Americans who make it happen. Because of you.”

Earlier this week, Mr. Obama said he supports reinstating a ban on assault weapons and large magazine clips as part of a broader look at mental-health issues and violent influences on youths. He gave Vice President Joseph R. Biden the job of leading a task force of Cabinet officials and outside groups to examine the issues behind the massacre in Newtown, Conn., last week and the string of tragic shootings the nation has experienced in recent years.