Monday, August 6, 2012

The White House Still Dances Around Gun Control

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who could give the Dancing With The Stars contestants lessons, continues to dance around the issue of gun control. The shootings at the Sikh Temple in Milwaukee, Wisconsin led to the obligatory questions from the media at today's press briefing on whether or not President Obama is going to push for gun control legislation.

On new gun control legislation Carney said:
Q: But does anything -- either one of these incidents suggest that there need to be new gun control legislation?

MR. CARNEY: I think the President addressed this at the Urban League, John. And his view is, as I’ve said, that we need to take common-sense measures that protect Second Amendment rights and make it harder for those who should not have weapons under existing law from obtaining weapons.

I think he made clear, too, in his speech in New Orleans that violence in America is a problem that is greater than just the issue of gun laws. And he talked very clearly about the prevalence of violence in America, that even as overall statistics show that crime has gone down over these last many years but there is still too much violence. And incidents like the ones you mentioned are horrific, and our hearts go out to the victims of such appalling acts of violence, but we should not forget that there are victims of violence every day in America, and we need to address that problem in a concerted way that deals with education and summer jobs and other ways to help address the violence problem in America.
I must say that anytime I hear a politician or their flacks use the expression "common-sense measures", I know they are just itching to impose more restrictions.

Of course, in what seems to be a popular refrain in this White House, Carney went on to essentially blame Congress for being the impediment to gun control legislation.
Q: Does the President share Minority Leader Pelosi’s view that even if Democrats controlled Congress, there still wouldn’t be the votes for significant gun legislation? And is that why the White House hasn’t pushed for new or tougher legislation more strongly?

MR. CARNEY: Well, I think the President has made his views plain on this, which is that he is for common-sense measures that protect Second Amendment rights -- very important Second Amendment rights that American citizens have, but that make it harder and harder for those who should not have weapons under existing law from obtaining them.

There is no question that there has been a reluctance to act in Congress on these issues. Whether that will continue to be the case in the future is anyone’s prediction. The President is focused on the progress we can make along the lines I just described.

So again, his positions on various issues I think we’ve talked about. He believes that we can take action within the existing environment that moves the ball forward in terms of enforcement, that enhances background checks, that makes it harder for those who shouldn’t have weapons under existing law -- makes it harder for them to obtain weapons, but continues to ensure that Second Amendment rights are protected.
Whether Carney wants to make the prediction for more gun control legislation in the future or not, I think virtually everyone on our side of the issue fully expects more gun control if Obama is re-elected. It may be overt as in legislation or it may be under the radar with how they "interpret" laws and regulations. Without the need to worry about re-election, Obama and his minions won't be obliged to offer platitudes about "Second Amendment rights" and their protection nor will they feel constrained in their efforts to undercut our freedoms.

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