Well it looks like when things get really serious, the White House's online suggestion box gets a look from the boss. The "We the People" section of the administration web site has been flooded with 32 separate petitions since the Newtown shootings — some calling for a federal ban on assault weapons, some imploring President Obama to increase funding for mental health services — and early Friday the president released a video response as another vehicle for speaking out about his push for new legislation:

Obama delivered his most specific message since the shootings at a press conference Wednesday, and his video Friday stood largely to reinforce that. But it also acknowledged a public forum that until now has been known more for its Star Wars-related pleas than calls for serious legislation:

The day since the heartbreaking tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, hundreds of thousands of you, from all fifty states, have signed petitions asking us to take serious steps to address the epidemic of gun violence in this country. So I just want to take a minute today to respond and let you know we hear you.