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Gun control: Did Obama let the moment pass?

While polls show a shift in US attitudes, President Obama is insisting, 100 days after the massacre in Newtown, Ct., that it's not too late to get gun control legislation through Congress.

By Staff writer / March 29, 2013

President Barack Obama urges Congress to take action on measures to protect children from gun violence, Thursday, March 28, 2013, while speaking in the East Room of the White House in Washington.

Susan Walsh/AP

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Washington

Has the moment passed for tighter gun restrictions?

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President Obama himself raised that question Thursday at a White House event aimed at revitalizing the prospects for legislation, 100 days after a Connecticut elementary school massacre that shocked the nation.

Flanked by families affected by gun violence, the president made an emotional plea for action and insisted it’s not too late.

“The notion that two months or three months after something as horrific as what happened at Newtown happens, and we’ve moved on to other things?” he said. “That’s not who we are.”

Next Wednesday, Obama will travel to Colorado to highlight the state’s new laws requiring universal background checks for gun buyers and a ban on ammunition magazines of more than 15 rounds. Colorado has seen two of the deadliest shootings in US history – one last July in Aurora, the other at Columbine High School in 1999.

There are certainly signs that momentum toward significant gun legislation has slipped since Newtown. In a CBS News poll out Monday, 47 percent of respondents said gun control laws should be more strict, down from 57 percent right after the Newtown massacre. According to Politico, the National Rifle Association is enjoying record fundraising, which translates into more donations to politicians.

In the Senate, a growing roster of Republicans is ready to filibuster legislation. On Thursday, two senators, Marco Rubio of Florida and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, joined three others – Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah, and Ted Cruz of Texas – in signing a letter threatening to filibuster any bill with new restrictions on guns.

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