A veteran Democratic lawmaker believes the nation will go along with stronger gun control laws if President Obama “exploits” the Newtown, Conn., tragedy and nudges Congress to action.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who represents portions of New York City, said he was encouraged by Mr. Obama’s statement on Friday afternoon that the mass shooting, which claimed the lives of 20 young children, requires “meaningful action” by Congress, but hopes those words turn into concrete legislation.
“These incidents, these horrible, horrible incidents … are happening more and more frequently. And they will continue to happen more and more frequently until someone with the bully pulpit, and that means the president, takes leadership and pushes Congress,” Mr. Nadler said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” with Ed Schultz.
Mr. Nadler was asked whether the Newtown tragedy could be the turning point in many Democrats’ longstanding struggle to enact stronger gun laws.
“I think we will be there if the president exploits it, and otherwise we’ll go on to the next” incident, Mr. Nadler said.
Mr. Nadler joins New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and others who quickly turned their attention to gun control laws in the hours following Friday’s shooting, one of the worst campus massacres in U.S. history.