As many congressional Republicans and the National Rifle Association oppose efforts to enact new gun legislation following the shootings of 20 elementary school students and six educators in Newtown, Connecticut, they know that public outrage often diminishes as memories of the incident fades.
“One of the most common observations about these mass atrocities is public opinion peaks and it seems to subside as time passes,” says Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat. “The momentum must be sustained. That is a major challenge.”
Blumenthal said in an interview that continued pressure from families who have lost loved ones in mass killings; and the new political action committee formed by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, herself a shooting survivor, will help keep the pressure on for a legislative response following Newtown.
“Different families will be ready at different times,” Blumenthal said. “Some of them are ready now. Others will be in time. They all will be very very important.”