A pro-gun control petition submitted on Friday through the White House's "We the People" platform has quickly emerged as the most popular cause ever championed on the website.
User David G. launched the effort hours after a shooter entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. and gunned down 26 people, including 20 young children. It quickly surged past the 25,000 signatures needed to warrant a White House reaction and has since secured more than 150,000 supporters. The petition, one of a number of similar efforts calling for action on gun control, calls for President Barack Obama's administration to "immediately address the issue of gun control through the introduction of legislation in Congress."
As National Journal reports, the gun control petition overtook a submission by a Texas resident last month calling for Obama to grant his state the right to secede in the wake of the president's reelection. That effort currently has 120,000 signatures attached to it.
Neither Obama nor his administration have announced any concrete steps on the issue of gun control, but the president addressed the nation twice since the Newtown shooting, calling for meaningful action to prevent future tragedies of this nature. On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that gun control was "part of" the equation to confronting the trend of mass shootings, but "far from all of it."
And as congressional lawmakers begin to take action and prepare legislation to address a number of gun control issues, gun rights advocates are also taking to the "We the People" forum to urge the White House to stand up for the rights of "law abiding gun owners." A petition calling for the administration to instead focus on the shooter's motives, mental state and even proximity to "violent video games" has received around 15,000 signatures.