Today, President Obama held his last press conference of his first term, where questions on issues ranging from the debt ceiling to foreign policy and taxes were answered by the president. But perhaps for those across the country who recently have been standing on long lines outside of gun shops, the issue of new gun legislation was probably all they wanted to hear about.
The president, who is expecting to meet with Biden today, says he has been presented with several sensible, common-sense ideas, also involving the NRA,that can be implemented to avoid the kind of violence witnessed at Newtown. Although the president said he expects to have a fuller presentation sometime this week — Biden, tomorrow, is set to lay out to the public, the new gun law recommendations he’s provided to the president.
The president once again re-emphasized his belief on having stricter background checks, and doing a better job of keeping high capacity magazine clips out of the hands of those who should not have them. “we can do a much better job in terms of keeping these magazine clips with high capacity out of the hands of folks who shouldn’t have them, an assault weapons ban that is meaningful — that those are things I continue to believe make sense,” said the president.
[Related: President Obama’s news conference on the debt ceiling, fiscal battles and gun control, Jan. 14, 2013 ]
Undoubtedly, the president is standing firm on his position to pass some kind of assault weapons ban, but getting through the Congress and the NRA is the real challenge. The NRA who spent near, or over $4.4 million through July 1 to lobby Congress, has managed to prevent passage of any other assault weapons ban like the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994,which expired in 2004.
[Related: NRA Says Congress Will Not Pass Weapons Ban ]
Biden has mentioned on more than a few occasions the use of executive action, should congress not cooperate with some of the new gun control legislation on the table. After rounds of debt ceiling questions, later in the conference the president was again asked what he would do in the case of Congress refusing to pass any new gun control measures — where the president seems to have backed up Biden’s claim, saying; “Some of them will require legislation; some of them I can accomplish through executive action.”
The NRA believes Congress will absolutely not pass any new assault weapons ban, and seem to feel that the president is simply predicting the use of executive power to pass any kind of assault weapons ban.
In an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, NRA president David Keene said; “When a president takes all the power of his office, if he’s willing to expend political capital, you don’t want to make predictions. You don’t want to bet your house on the outcome. But I would say that the likelihood is that they are not going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through this Congress.”
With today marking the one month anniversary of the Newtown school shooting, and parents gathering to pay tribute to the children who died on that tragic day, all eyes are on Congress and this week’s recommendations made by the president, Biden and the White House on new gun control legislation in the fight against gun violence.