Obama Asks Cabinet Members for Proposals to Curb Gun Violence
Can it be different this time? Could this be the moment when in the face of yet ANOTHER incident — again, shocking then the last — when a nut with a gun obliterates human life with the pull of a trigger there are actually legislative actions taken by politicians who are more focused on the deaths than whether the gun lobby will seek to defeat them?
This sounds like a start:
President Obama on Monday began the first serious push of his administration to attempt to reduce gun violence, directing Cabinet members to formulate a set of proposals that could include reinstating a ban on assault rifles.
The effort will be led by Vice President Biden, according to two people outside the government who have spoken to senior administration officials since Friday, when a gunman killed his mother and rampaged through Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., killing 20 children, six adults and himself.
The tentative steps ended a paralyzing debate within the administration over how hard to pursue gun-control legislation, which has been a politically perilous issue for many Democrats. There were signs Monday, however, that such fear was abating on the Democratic side of the aisle.
Democratic Sens. Harry M. Reid (Nev.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Mark R. Warner (Va.) made clear that Congress should consider a range of options to address the issue; all three have been strong supporters of gun rights. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) said she would introduce legislation that would reimpose the assault-rifle ban that lapsed in 2004.
“We need to accept the reality that we’re not doing enough to protect our citizens,” Reid, the Senate majority leader, said after a moment of silence on the chamber’s floor. “In the coming days and weeks, we’ll engage in a meaningful conversation and proper debate about how to change laws and culture that allow this violence to continue to grow. .?.?. And every idea should be on the table.”
But any significant gun legislation would require support from leading Republicans, none of whom joined Democrats on Monday in outlining specific changes they might consider.
But that sounds like a big “if.” As my grandmother used to say: “If I had wheels I’d be a trolley car.”
It sounds like now — as on so many other matters — Republicans will be at odds with the viewpoints of a larger number of Americans but they have the power to obstruct and the media apparatus to put out a stream of talking points.
But I get the feeling I’ve seen this show before…….