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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.

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  1. I doubt there will be a big push from Obama. I don’t think he wants to waste political capital on this issue when he will need it to defend healthcare and to, at the very least, make it appear as though he is doing something to fix the economy. Right now, the only thing most Americans really care about is the economy. He must appear to have that as his main focus if he wants to have a decent chance in the next election.

  2. Many of the self-appointed “elites” in this country have a hard on for gun control. The problem is, the hoi polloi, for the most part, don’t. Those that aren’t in the pro-gun camp are more or less neutral on the issue, and even those who might tacitly support support increased gun control measures are not so committed to it that they would put gun control ahead of other, more important (to them) legislative measures.

    Also as Dan Baum has pointed out on this very site, supporting gun control wins democratic politicians very few friends but a lot of dedicated enemies. It’s a no-win situation for them.

  3. That Plouffe made his comments to NBC is no surprise. NBC/MSNBC talking heads have been coming out of the woodwork since the Arizona shooting incident, beating the drum for gun control. The only ones who respond to those drum beats are those inclined to watch and believe NBC/MSNBC’s left-leaning reportage. In other words, almost no one.

    As for “Newsweek”. It’s been on life support for the past year or two. Almost no one reads it anymore.

  4. Suicide bombers should have taught us ever to underestimate the will of fanatics, especially when they’re financed by George Soros and the Joyce Foundation. Meanwhile, we should not overestimate the will of our “friends” in Congress, the courts and the NRA. A battle is brewing and there will be losses on our side. That’s politics for ya.

  5. Talk about wishful thinking. Admit it, gun guys are praying Obama mouths the word “gun.” Everybody wins! Gun dealers sell more guns, the NRA can do more money-raising fear-mongering, gun guys get to sink deeper into their comfortable resentment. I just had a gun guy tell me, “I watch what they (Democrats) do, not what they say,” forgetting that going simply by what he’s done, Obama’s been a pretty pro-gun president (letting guns into the National Parks). Everybody loves talking about what Obama “wants” to do, or is “just waiting to do.” My advice to the gun right is the same as it is to the anti-gun left: Calm the fuck down.

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