'Death Star' petition to prompt White House response
Online proposal passes 25,000 signatures, requiring official response
An online petition on a White House website to secure resources and funding to build a Star Wars-like "Death Star" by 2016 has gathered 26,447 signatures and will spark a response from the Obama administration.
The government website We the People was created to allow people to petition the U.S. federal government to take action on a range of issues.
The authors of the petition began their quest on Nov. 14 and passed the goal of 25,000 signatures on Thursday. Any petition that surpasses the 25,000 mark will be reviewed by the White House staff and will receive an official response.
"We the People helps the White House understand the views of the American people and have a focused and civil conversation with them," explains the White House website.
The authors of the petition rationalized the strange request for a Death Star — a doomsday weapon capable of destroying planets, which featured in the film Star Wars — by stating that the benefits of such a craft would boost job numbers and aid in national defence.
"By focusing our defence resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defence," said the petition.
Each petition must cross two critical thresholds in order to be effective. First, it must meet a minimum number of signatures for it to be publicly listed and searchable, and second it must meet the 25,000-signature mark within a month in order to garner a White House response.
"From time to time President Obama may respond directly to petitions, but we expect most of responses to come from other administration officials," says the website.
According to the website, anyone 13 years or older with an email can start a petition seeking federal government action.
Many other petitions on the website fall short of the 25,000 signatures.
A petition for Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline raised 1,674 signatures.
Medical marijuana petitions were dwarfed by the Death Star, as a petition to have the plant used for medical purposes in all 50 states received 4,345 signatures.
A proposal to investigate and publicly condemn organ harvesting from Falun Gong believers in China had 10,054 votes.
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