The Obama administration long ago realized it would have insurmountable difficulty getting a semiautomatic gun ban, such as that considered by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and others, passed by Congress.
Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that President Barack Obama could use executive action and bypass Congress to further restrict gun ownership by private citizens.
Biden on Wednesday had heard personal stories of gun violence from representatives of victims groups and gun-safety organizations as he drafts the Obama administration’s response to the shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. He pledged that action would be taken.
“I want to make it clear that we are not going to get caught up in the notion (that) unless we can do everything we’re going to do nothing,” Biden said. “It’s critically important (that) we act.”
The meeting was part of a series Biden is holding this week to build consensus around proposals to curb gun violence after the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting in Newtown, Conn. Twenty school children were killed.
Participants in Wednesday’s meeting with Biden included the Brady Campaign and groups from Illinois, Wisconsin, and states that experienced multi-victim shootings that garnered national attention, including the shooting in Arizona of then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Attorney General Eric Holder, a prime suspect in the Fast and Furious gun-scandal, also attended.
In additon, there were two survivors of the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech that killed 32 people in attendance, as well as a stepfather of a victim of last July’s massacre at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., in which a dozen people were slain.
Last week, Obama ordered his Vice President, Joe Biden, to put together a special blue-ribbon panel that will meet, discuss and propose new legislation and federal regulations to cut down crimes committed with firearms.
The Obama administration long ago realized it would have insurmountable difficulty getting a semiautomatic gun ban, such as that considered by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and others, passed Congress, especially when the House is controlled by defenders of the Second Amendment, according to gun law expert John Snyder.
Congressional Second Amendment supporters already are preparing for such a battle. During the Clinton years, Congress enacted a partial, temporary semiautomatic ban but allowed it to sunset after 10 years because of its lack of significant negative impact on crime, according to surveys conducted by the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
The Obama administration, now safely reelected, may order the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to take the classification step. Some gun-grabbers view the designation of Street Sweeper shotguns as Title 2 firearms during the Clinton administration as precedent for such a move.
But with the Newtown shootings still fresh in Americans’ minds, Obama believes he will succeed in achieving his hidden gun-control agenda.
“I’d like to get it done in the first year. I will put forward a very specific proposal based on the recommendations that Joe Biden’s task force is putting together as we speak. And so this is not something that I will be putting off,” said Obama in the NBC interview.
Obama also voiced skepticism about a proposal by a gun rights lobby group to put more armed guards in schools across the country to prevent future mass shooting tragedies at campus.
“I am skeptical that the only answer is putting more guns in schools. And I think the vast majority of the American people are skeptical that somehow is going to solve our problem,” said Obama.
National Rifle Association, the largest gun-rights organization in the country, has refused to support new gun-control legislation after the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. The group called for armed guards for every school in the country, as the response of the gun industry.
“These gun-control people like Obama and Feinstein are surrounded by well-trained bodyguards who are armed to the teeth. I don’t hear Obama complaining about having so many armed people walking around his home,” said former police detective Mike Snopes.
“Why can’t my children have the same protection as Obama’s kids in Washington?” Snopes asks.
When Biden convened the first meeting of the White House’s gun-control task force, bringing together law enforcement officials and Cabinet secretaries, he said there was “no reason ” why an updated assault weapons ban could not pass Congress.
“President Obama has a literal army of trained, armed soldiers in the form of parts of the military and an entire division of officers (The Secret Service) who’s job it is, once again, to make this not his problem for both him and his entire family. Michelle and his children do not have to concern themselves about these issues because there are literally over a thousand others who are paid to take that responsibility — up to and including eating a bullet in their place,” said Stephanie S. Jasky, founder and director of FedUpUSA.org.
A former New York City police detective, who was assigned to the mayor’s security detail, said that Michael Bloomberg talks tough with a crowd of six-foot-plus police detectives surrounding him, all of them armed with Glocks carrying 17-rounds. Yet, Bloomberg is one of the nation’s most vocal “gun-grabbers,” said the former NYPD cop.