Newsweek’s bold headline (excluding the “or not” part above) predicts a post-Loughner push for new gun control measures. Given Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ weasel words on Air Force One after the State of Union address, and the President’s previous unwillingness to touch the new third rail of American politics, one can’t help but wonder if the news weekly (weakly?) isn’t engaging in some words-in-your-mouth wishful thinking. OK, so . . .
In the next two weeks, the White House will unveil a new gun-control effort in which it will urge Congress to strengthen current laws, which now allow some mentally unstable people, such as alleged Arizona shooter Jared Loughner, to obtain certain assault weapons, in some cases without even a background check.
Not a major push, but a strengthening then. Unless that’s code for new laws like Congresswoman McCarthy’s high-cap mag ban or Senator Lautnerberg’s terrible trio of gun control bills. Anyway, where’s the smoking gun? What proof do we have the the Prez is going to tackle gun control?
Tuesday night after the speech, Obama adviser David Plouffe said to NBC News that the president would not let the moment after the Arizona shootings pass without pushing for some change in the law, to prevent another similar incident. “It’s a very important issue, and one I know there’s going to be debate about on the Hill.”
You got THAT right. But stil, the President did let the moment pass without pushing for some change in the law. And, as they say, a week is a long time in politics. Two weeks? Three? A lifetime . . .
The White House said that to avoid being accused of capitalizing on the Arizona shootings for political gain, Obama will address the gun issue in a separate speech, likely early next month. He’s also expected to use Arizona as a starting point, but make the case that America’s gun laws have been too loose for much longer than just the past few weeks.
I’m sorry, but President Obama has already milked the Loughner spree killing for political advantage in his SOTU speech. As did the Republicans in their reply, BTW. I reckon if he was going to do it, he would have done it.
Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association has stayed largely silent following the Arizona shootings. Asked about a specialized White House effort on guns, a spokesman for the powerful gun lobby declined to comment.
So for both President Obama and the NRA, discretion is the better part of politics.