Would things have been different if Obama had moved more quickly?

“Yes, absolutely,” said Newtown First Selectman Patricia Llodra, the town’s equivalent of a mayor. “I think it would have been much more difficult to vote against change when we were still in that immediate, that first ring of response.”

Washington insiders say that’s just not how it works.

Asked whether Obama and Biden could have done more to push through a bill through personal lobbying or anything else, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said no.

“They’re not in the Senate,” Leahy said. “The Senate moved it, I moved it, and I moved it quickly.”…

When the shooting happened in December, Obama had just won a convincing reelection. There was outrage. There was a lame-duck Congress. The National Rifle Association was cowed into silence. Even Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a red-state Democrat who won his seat in part thanks to a commercial in which he shot a bullet through a copy of a bill he didn’t like, said he knew the time had come for new control laws and began working with the president and his staff.