White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president’s children “should not be used as pawns in a political fight” and called the attack “repugnant and cowardly.”
At the same time, however, Obama is proposing that Congress send $150 million to local school districts and police departments to put up to 1,000 more police officers in schools.
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That part of the president’s plan drew criticism from the left, including from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union. In a statement, Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Washington legislative office, warned that Obama’s plan “will turn sanctuaries for education into armed fortresses.”
California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who wrote the expired assault weapons ban and plans to introduce a new version next week, said she was heartened by Obama’s call for tougher gun laws. But getting the measures through Congress, she said, will be “uphill all the way.”
Feinstein said a “hardening of the right” has complicated the upcoming fight. Like Obama, she said that public pressure would be crucial to overcome congressional opposition.
“People have to rise up,” she said. “The deciding factor will be the American people.”