There's a window for action after incidents like the Sandy Hook shootings, and that window is beginning to close, says Julian Zelizer, a congressional historian at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J. "Memories of the shooting start to fade, the NRA starts to be more comfortable, reformers start to back off, and they are much more timid."
"If Obama wants to do something, he has to make this front and center, because it's getting harder by the day," he adds.
Vice President Joe Biden, who met last week with a wide range of interest groups on gun violence, is expected to deliver recommendations to the president on Tuesday.
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers are proposing measures to renew the assault weapons ban, limit the size of high-capacity magazine clips, require universal background checks, increase mental-health screenings, and pressure Hollywood and the video-game industry to dial back the violence.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D) of West Virginia electrified the pro-gun control community when he announced that the slaughter of children at Sandy Hook “changed me,” and called on his “friends in the NRA” to be “at the table” on preventing gun violence.
But his main focus in appearances on Sunday talk shows was to assure gun owners that Congress will not rein in gun rights.