Largely associated with Internet pranks and dubious ideas, the petition platform at WhiteHouse.gov has been put to more serious use in the wake of last week’s tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut. By Friday afternoon, someone had posted a call for the president to “immediately address the issue of gun control” by introducing a bill to Congress.
The response was immediate: Mashable reports that within 48 hours, it was the most popular thing ever posted to the site.
As of right now, it has 144,289 signatures.
It’s far from the only petition on the matter, however: Another calls for “strict” gun control laws (29,170). Another asks the president to “support law abiding gun owners in this time of tragedy” (10,791 signatures). One even calls for the arming of teachers (6,241).
Once a petition accumulates 25,000 signatures it’s guaranteed to get serious consideration and some sort of response from the Obama administration. But one imagines this issue already skyrocketed to the top of the agenda, even without the extra push from online activists.