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Le Monde, France

National Rifle Association Puts
Obama’s Children on Center Stage

By Corine Lesnes

Translated By Georgina O'Neil

16 January 2013

Edited by Kyrstie Lane

France - Le Monde - Original Article (French)

Due to the fact that it involved children, specifically primary school students mowed down in the middle of a classroom, the Newtown shooting changed the firearms debate, which is reignited following every massacre.

It was also the first post-election attack. If Barack Obama did not deem it appropriate to react to the previous shootings on a political level, this time he has mobilized both administration and opinion.

The U.S. president chose to present his conclusions on Wednesday surrounded by children. These were children from across the country who wrote to him following the Newtown massacre, compatriots of the 20 students killed in the school.

Certain extremist Republicans are outraged by this “use” of children to political ends. Rush Limbaugh spoke of “human shields.” Steve Stockman, a congressman from Texas, was furious that the president plans to proceed by decree and has even suggested that it was a potential motive for impeachment. “And he's even using children! It reminds me of Saddam Hussein who would use kids...” he said in a TV interview.

The NRA, the firearms lobby, directly attacked the president's children, accusing him of hypocrisy and elitism: “Why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?”

In his conclusions, Obama did not take up the NRA's idea of posting armed guards in schools, but he does suggest making funds available to schools for security reinforcement.



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