The proposals would require background checks for every gun buyer, a ban on semi-automatic assault rifles and a limit on high-capacity clips.
The Rev. Harris Travis, pastor of Zion Baptist, said Goode’s mother, Kimberly Graves, received a phone call from a White House official Monday morning inviting them to attend the signing.
“She called me immediately after she got the call to talk everything through,” he said. “She was a little concerned, asking ‘Is this for real?’ You don’t get a call from the White House every day. … I don’t know what I would do either.”
Travis said Goode and Graves, who live in Douglas County but have attended the Marietta church for many years, were headed home Wednesday night from Washington, D.C.
He didn’t know Goode had written a letter shortly after the Newtown, Conn., shooting at an elementary school but said it didn’t surprise him.
“He is a very, very impressive young man,” Travis said. “He has done extremely well in school, and he goes after school and takes classes in music. He can play the organ extremely well, piano extremely well and the drums.”
Goode’s letter to Obama states, “I am writing to ask you to STOP gun violence. I am very sad about the children who lost their lives in Connecticut, so I thought I would write to you to STOP gun violence. Thank you, Mr. President. Your American, Taejah.”
Obama read aloud Goode’s letter, along with those of several other children, to a group of Cabinet secretaries, administration officials and others in a White House auditorium Wednesday prior to the announcement.
“These are some pretty smart letters from some pretty smart young people,” Obama said. “So what we should be thinking about, is our responsibility to care for them, and shield them from harm, and give them the tools they need to grow up, and do everything that they’re capable of doing. Not just to pursue their own dreams, but to help build this country. This is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged. And their voices should compel us to change.”
None of the writers invited to Wednesday’s media event said they opposed efforts to tighten access to guns.
The White House did not immediately respond when asked whether it had received letters from children who disagreed with Obama on the need for stricter gun control.
The Associated Press contributed to this story