Tonight on Washington Week: Obama's Gun Violence Policies and Second-Term Priorities

President Obama signed a series of gun-violence executive actions (Photo: CNN)

January 18, 2013

One month after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, President Obama rolled out the biggest U.S. plan to confront gun violence and strengthen gun-control laws in generations. The sweeping proposal includes increased enforcement of existing gun laws, universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, and improved mental health services.

Recent polls show the majority of Americans favor more stringent gun laws that would close sales loopholes at gun shows and limit high-capacity magazines. The National Rifle Association (NRA) insists the president’s plan is an encroachment of their constitutional right to bear arms and says it is prepared for “the fight of the century.”

President Obama being sworn into office in 2009 (Photo: CNN)

In 2009 Barack Obama came into office with soaring approval ratings and an abundance of optimism calling for “a new era of responsibility” in the face of the nation’s economic crisis. After a long downturn, the economy is getting stronger. Healthcare reform is the law of the land. But the president has not fulfilled all his first-term promises. Unemployment remains high. The Guantanamo Bay detention prison remains open. And any hopes of fostering bipartisanship seem to have disappeared in a nation that seems to be more politically divided.

Gwen Ifill will look at the successes and setbacks during President Obama’s first term and will look ahead at the challenges and shifting second-term priorities with:

Peter Baker of The New York Times

John Dickerson of Slate Magazine and CBS News

Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report

Charles Babington of the Associated Press

Mark your calendar – Gwen will be online for her monthly chat next Thursday, January 24 at noon (ET). Join her live or submit a comment or question in advance here.