CNN has announced that President Obama will take part in a town hall on guns and gun control on Thursday. The hourlong special will be moderated by Anderson Cooper and air at 8 PM ET, when Cooper’s show, Anderson Cooper 360, typically airs.
The special comes almost five years to the day after the Arizona shooting that left several dead and gravely injured then-Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). The shooting was one of the first major of President Obama’s Presidency and began his largely unsuccessful focus on gun violence prevention measures. Gun control has been one of President Obama’s biggest focuses, but also one of his biggest failures. Congress has largely refused to act on the issue, despite pleas from President Obama and bipartisan legislation. Republicans, backed by the National Rifle Association, have blocked gun control actions.
The program is titled “Guns in America” and shares the name of a segment from Piers Morgan Live where Morgan would cover the topic of guns and, oftentimes, gun control. Morgan would also have town halls on the issue that would come to define his CNN program.
President Obama has said that gun control measures will be a main element of his final full year in office. During his New Years address, President Obama said, “My New Year’s resolution is to move forward on our unfinished business as much as I can. That’s especially true for one piece of unfinished business: our epidemic of gun violence.” The President will meet with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Monday to discuss what unilateral actions he can take. His actions are expected to focus more on the selling element of guns and regulations on gun shops.