By Friday night, it had collected more than 25,000 signatures, the number of signatures any petition made on the We The People site must accumulate before White House staff will respond to it.
People have continued to sign the petition since Friday night, surpassing the minimum requirement of 25,000 signatures. As of Tuesday morning, “David G.”’s petition had over 176,000 signatures, making it the most popular petition out of about 105,000 posted since the We The People website launched in September 2011.
(Note: as of Wednesday, the day I posted this blurb to my blog, the number jumped to almost 200,000 signatures.)
“The goal of this petition is to force the Obama administration to produce legislation that limits access to guns,” reads the petition. “While a national dialogue is critical, laws are the only means in which we can reduce the number of people murdered in gun related deaths.”
The petition is part of a movement that The Nation calls “the largest organic push for gun control in many years” in America. Several other petitions on the We The People site also call for stricter gun control, including one urging Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.
As of December 18th, it remains to be seen what sorts of action, if any, will be made by Congress or the president in response to the tragic Conn. shooting, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school.
The White House launched the We The People petition website in the fall of 2011 in an effort to open a dialogue with the people of the United States. The site was meant to encourage more involvement with politics, providing a place for citizens to state their opinion on national issues. Officials promised to respond to all petitions with more than 25,000 signatures.
For months, the majority of petitions on the site were created as jokes. Prior to the shootings in Newtown, the most well-known petitions were started by secessionists in protest of Obama’s re-election. David G.'s petition has also surpassed the previous record-holding petition on We The People, which asked the Obama administration to pressure Vietnam on human rights issues.