President Biden used the latest mass shooting last month to offer his most vocal push for gun control since taking office, saying the deaths of 10 people at a grocery store in Colorado should jolt Washington and the nation into action.
It was a message past presidents have also wielded to disappointing results.
But Biden — who has a lengthy and mixed record on the issue — signaled he was ready to press for legislation even as he balances other priorities in Congress.
In somber remarks from the White House State Dining Room, he said he would do everything in his power to keep Americans safe and pushed a pair of House-passed gun reforms, including a universal background checks measure and an assault weapons ban.
The President had made no mention of gun control in the aftermath of the Atlanta shooting — including during remarks after visiting the city — choosing to focus instead on a recent spate of violent crimes committed against Asian-Americans.
But he faced increasing pressure to voice an opinion on the matter after the subsequent mass killing in Colorado.
Some more background: As the nation's posture on guns has evolved, Biden has been front-and-center at most every stop along the way for more than three decades, from the triumph of a 10-year ban on assault weapons in 1994 to the disappointment of a failed push for universal background checks in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre.
But now Biden commands a bully pulpit that he's never had in the debate over guns in America, facing the challenge of how — or whether — to wield the power of the White House to try and make some type of gun reform legislation a reality.
The shootings in Georgia and Colorado come in the first chapter of his presidency, prompting a discussion inside the West Wing over how much political capital Biden should expend on the matter, which has so often ended in frustration. But the debate comes at a time when the powerful gun lobby is divided and weakened, creating what some allies see as a possible opening for Biden.