Page 79 | Volume 1 | The Leadership Journal of Dallas Baptist University

79 During the same time that President Obama was pushing gun control legislation, the American people ranked it at the bottom of a list of 12 priorities for Congress and the President to address, according to a poll conducted by Gallup on May 4-5, 2013.35 From a political point of view, President Obama started “his gun control push from a position of political weakness. He had not campaigned on gun control, let alone a specific set of gun control proposals. He couldn’t influence lawmakers with clear evidence of red- and purple-state voters who were dedicated to his proposals. No broad-based gun control movement was in place to apply grassroots pressure.”On the other side of the debate, the NRA had cultivated “decades of single-issue voters, fostering a cultural identity around gun ownership that fortifies its legal and constitutional arguments.”36 To combat the power of the gun lobby, President Obama called on the American people to contact their representatives in Congress to get them on the record, saying, “Ask them what’s more important— doing whatever it takes to get an A grade from the gun lobby that funds their campaign, or giving parents some peace of mind when they drop their child off for first grade?”37 President Obama showed the nation that no child or parent should live in fear of a shooting in a school. In the same press conference, President Obama also affirmed his belief that the Second Amendment allows individuals the right to bear arms. However, he stressed that most gun owners would agree that “reasonable steps” are needed to “keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.”38 In an extraordinary step, he tried to find a balance between Americans’ Second Amendment Rights and people’s right to live a life with freedom from fear. ACTIONS The Sandy Hook shooting shook the world; it changed the way that people saw mass shootings. During the 2008 election and afterward, President Obama was known for his legendary calmness.39 He gave an interview during the 2008 primary campaign, saying, “I don’t get too high when things are going well—I don’t get too low when things are going badly.”40 However, this was not the case in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. In her memoir, Becoming, Michelle Obama speaks directly to how President Obama was affected. Specifically, she IN THE AGE OF SCHOOL SHOOTINGS: PRESIDENT OBAMA’S MORAL LEADERSHIP