Politics

Obama administration coming for guns

Obama administration coming for guns

There was no mistaking the tone and direction at the White House on Tuesday, as it is certain that the White House will make gun control a top priority once the “fiscal cliff” is finally navigated.

At the regular briefing at the White House, press secretary Jay Carney left little doubt. In Carney’s words, “(i)t’s clear that as a nation we haven’t done enough to address the scourge of gun violence in this country. It’s a complex problem that requires more than one solution. It calls for not only reexamining our gun laws and how well we enforce them, but also for engaging mental health professionals, law enforcement officials, educators, parents and communities to find those solutions.”

But for all Carney’s talk about “engaging” mental health professionals and others after the shooting tragedy Friday and the president’s own vow in Newtown, Conn. two nights ago to “engage with the American people” on the gun issue, it was quite clear that the first move from the White House would be pursuit of tougher gun laws.

“(President Obama) is actively supportive of, for example, Sen. Feinstein’s stated intent to revive a piece of legislation that would reinstate the assault weapons ban,” Carney said. “He supports, and would support, legislation that addresses the problem of the so-called gun show loophole. And there are other elements of gun law — gun legislation that he could support. People have talked about high-capacity gun — ammunition clips, for example, and that is something certainly that he would be interested in looking at. My point is that it goes beyond that.”

In focusing on the legislative front in the coming attack on guns, the president’s top spokesman told reporters that Obama “is moving forward, as he said he would, in having discussions here at the White House with members of his team, having discussions moments ago with Sen. (Joe) Manchin (D-W.Va.) and others who have introduced important ideas about how we can move forward and whose decision to break from past positions and — in how they look at this is heartening, and perhaps harbors an opportunity to move forward in a constructive way. But we are still early in a process.”

In underscoring the president’s support for Sen. Diane Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) legislation to renew the assault weapons ban, Carney said Obama “goes beyond that. His view is that we need to address this in a way that, as I said yesterday, acknowledges that no single piece of legislation, no single restriction on access to a certain type of weapon will solve this problem and that we need to address it more broadly.”

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