It’s a second term for Michelle Obama, too, and she’s shifting her social-issues emphasis to kids and gun violence after spending four years stressing better physical fitness for the young. A meeting with high school students from a poor, gang-infested neighborhood in Chicago, her hometown, led Mrs. Obama to put a new spin on the stalled legislative debate over whether to ban firearms or impose new background checks on people who want to buy guns.
A mother to a teen and a tween, Mrs. Obama argues that the debate also is about the country’s obligation to help kids like these grow up and become adults. Several of the school’s current and former students were killed by gunfire within the past year. The first lady faces the issue of immigration Tuesday when she gives the keynote speech at the annual conference of the National Council of La Raza, a Latino advocacy group. Immigration is one of President Barack Obama’s top second-term priorities.
Aides say the first lady isn’t making gun violence a new and distinct issue, but is folding it into her work encouraging youth to focus on getting an education.