"The one thing that sort of upsets me a little bit is the president is trying to use emotion to force things through before they are rationally debated, argued and examined and that's a mistake because that's the way you get to bad policy," Keene told CNN following the president's speech.
"There are going to be votes on some of these things. Some of these things may have more support than others and some of them may drop along the way as we head to the final days of this confrontation on second amendment rights," he said.
Gun rights advocates are also using emotional appeals to make their point.
"Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face-not just maybe. It's not paranoia to buy a gun. It's survival," the NRA's executive vice president Wayne LaPierre wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday by the conservative news website, The Daily Caller.
"It's responsible behavior," he continued. "And it's time we encourage law-abiding Americans to do just that."
Congress is preparing to consider such measures as a ban on the manufacture of new high-powered assault weapons, cracking down on straw purchases of guns for those who can't pass background checks, curbing gun trafficking and expanding background checks.
House Speaker John Boehner has said he has no plans to bring any measure up for a vote until the Senate acts first.
Republicans oppose any assault weapons ban and rural-state Democrats facing tough re-election fights are unlikely to support it as well, meaning that proposal has little chance of passing Congress.
There is some bipartisan support for expanded background checks, especially to keep guns out of the hands of people with mental illness. A number of lawmakers may also support limiting the size of ammunition magazines.
The top Democrat in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, has a good rating from gun rights groups and has said he would work to ensure that a variety of proposals are brought to the floor for consideration.
To that end, the emotional nature of the president's address could help Democrats who are in a difficult position on Obama's push for Congress to at least vote on tougher gun laws.
The call places pressure on congressional Democrats, particularly in the House who may find that support of tougher gun laws could make it hard for them in the 2014 mid-term election. But bucking the party could anger the Democratic base.
"I think that the emotional appeal in the State of the Union speech can be important for elected officials who have to appeal to a jurisdiction that is not overwhelmingly Republican," said Daniel Webster, director of Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.
"I have some confidence that there will be support in the Senate, including from several Democrats in states with large populations who are gun owners, for passing universal background checks, funding to encourage better reporting to the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) mental health disqualifications, and measures to strengthen laws that can be used to prosecute and deter illegal gun trafficking," Webster said.
However getting such legislation past the House is another matter.
"I am less optimistic about these things in the House because the Republican party has so few moderates, most are in safe gerrymandered districts, and the NRA provides critical funding and grassroots resources," Webster said. "But I suspect that the party will take a hit politically if they have a deaf ear to the country's cry for much needed reforms."