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Sat Dec 15, 2012, 11:14 AM

Don’t be afraid, Mr. President

Barack Obama and his party have been too terrified of angering gun owners to realize they can win without them


There’s no disputing that the Democratic Party has regressed dramatically on the issue of gun violence over the past two decades. When a shooting rampage on the Long Island Railroad killed six people and injured 19 others in December 1993, Bill Clinton responded immediately by calling for specific legislative action to prevent future tragedies. Contrast that with the response of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday to a question about whether the carnage in Connecticut might prompt President Obama to pursue gun control measures. “I’m sure there will be another day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates,” Carney said, “but I don’t think today is that day.”

It can be hard to remember now, but well into the 1990s, national Democrats proudly associated themselves with gun control, championing laws that restricted access to deadly weapons. Under Clinton, the Brady Bill, which mandated a five-day waiting period for the purchase of handgun, was passed, and so was a ban on assault weapons. The 1996 Democratic Convention that nominated Clinton for a second term featured Jim and Sarah Brady as primetime speakers.

The years since then, however, have been marked by a steady and thus far enduring Democratic retreat on the issue, with the Second Amendment crowd now largely dictating the terms of public discussion and Democrats mainly trying to avoid their wrath. Consider Obama’s record on guns, which includes one achievement: a law making it easier to carry concealed weapons in national parks.

While the violent crime rate that fed the gun control zeal of the ’90s is much lower today, horrifying mass shootings seem to be on the rise. Six of the 12 deadliest sprees in American history have taken place just since 2007. In his own remarks Friday, delivered a few hours after Carney’s, Obama seemed to hint that the latest deadly outburst might actually shake him and his party from their defensive crouch on guns. “[W]e’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of politics,” the president said.



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Reply Don’t be afraid, Mr. President (Original post)
DonViejo Dec 2012 OP
democrattotheend Dec 2012 #1

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:00 PM

1. I am honestly torn about this

Part of me really wants to see the president make a push on gun control in the wake of this tragedy, especially renewing the assault weapons ban.

The other part of me says that he doesn't have the votes to get it through Congress, and the only thing calling for it will accomplish is an increase in gun sales and donations to the NRA, which will surely capitalize by sending out fundraising emails and bloviating on right wing talk radio about how Obama is trying to take their guns.

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