" When he ran for reelection in 2012, Barack Obama never talked about gun control. That’s almost hard to remember now, after Newtown transformed Obama and he spent massive political capital trying to make Congress act on comprehensive reform. While Obama has since pledged not to even campaign for Democrats who don’t support gun-control legislation, his speech at the Democratic convention in Charlotte four years ago never alluded to gun violence.
This was no small feat, considering mass acts of gun violence shook the country throughout the summer of 2012. After the Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting in July killed 12 people and wounded scores more, Obama said only that he wanted ‘to arrive at a consensus around violence reduction—not just of gun violence, but violence at every level, on every step, looking at everything we can do to reduce violence.’ He proposed no new gun reforms.
Less than a month later, when six people were shot and killed at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, Obama again declined to make gun safety a campaign issue. Reporters asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney if the president wanted new laws, and Carney essentially said no. ‘We need to take common-sense measures that protect Second Amendment rights and make it harder for those who should not have weapons under existing law from obtaining weapons,’ he replied.
The upcoming presidential election will be dramatically different, as dueling speeches from Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton this past weekend demonstrated. Like few other elections before it, 2016 will feature gun control as a huge and explosive issue."