So we know now that Joe Biden, the Vice President of the United States, has a month to solve the huge gun epidemic in his home nation.
This will no doubt involve a certain amount of political horse trading between those who support and oppose any suggested action. One hopes their consciences pricked by the Newtown massacre will drive them towards a negotiated agreement.
Jon Snow, the UK news broadcaster, noted an analogy between Obama’s situation and that of Abraham Lincoln, one of the current President’s heroes.
Lincoln had to be smuggled in to Washington DC for his inauguration ceremony in 1861 to avoid the threat of assassination by pro-slavery interests. He was relatively unknown and had to lead a cabinet of troublesome equals, many of whom considered themselves ‘betters’. The secessionist states of the South declared war on the Northern states, to which Lincoln belonged, and Washington was under threat of capture, being surrounded on all sides. Yet he managed to overcome all of this in the end and save the Union, though many lives were lost along the way.
The Obama/Biden team has a much easier job at hand with fewer lives at stake. But they need to make the same, long-lasting commitment to the future of a uniformly peaceful (and ‘pieceless’) United States.
Only then will the phrase ‘meaningful action’ have any real significance.