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Obama Facing Defeat in Gun Control Fight

After all the lobbying, the speeches, the tearful testimony the NRA appears to be winning in the battle to pass gun control laws in Congress, as senators on both sides of the aisle are backing away from even the background checks legislation that is supported by 90 percent of the American public.

The NRA has Democrats from strong gun-rights states and Republicans fearful that their re-election would be in danger if they vote for a bill to expand the use of background checks. Advocates are worried that the bill is currently dead in Congress. The NRA even targeted a measure that makes gun trafficking a federal crime, so now even that is looking less than hopeful.

President Obama is trying to find a way to jump-start momentum behind the legislation. He plans to travel to Colorado today and Connecticut on Monday — scenes of the two most recent gun massacres — to attempt to apply public pressure on the senators who are resistant.

Gun control proponent Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who is a survivor of a mass shooting, said the delays have created “an environment so that cowards can succeed.”

“Ninety-one percent of the American people support a universal background check, and we’ve got members on the House and Senate side that are gutless,” she said, according to the Washington Post. “They know in their heart of hearts that it’s the absolute right thing to do, but they are more concerned about their re-election.”

After the president expended so much energy and political capital on the issue, it would be a huge setback for the White House if no new legislation were to emerge from Congress. Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill are faulting Obama for spending too much time speaking to the public about gun control, but not enough time meeting privately with members of Congress — a frequent criticism that seems to come up with every issue.

But the conservatives who are holding out are more likely to use a meeting with the president as an opportunity to publicly embarrass him and play up their resistance for the benefit of their base back home.

Rep. Mike Thompson (D., Calif.), who said he had been in frequent contact with the White House about the issue, told the Wall Street Journal that the president needs to talk to lawmakers and make the case to the public at the same time.

“He needs to talk to everybody,” Thompson said.

A television ad campaign targeting 13 senators, financed by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, has not been able to change many minds.

The resistant group includes several Democrats up for re-election in 2014 in conservative states with strong traditions of gun ownership: Mark Begich (Alaska), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Max Baucus (Mont.), Kay Hagan (N.C.) and Mark R. Warner (Va.).

“I don’t take gun advice from the mayor of New York City. I listen to Arkansans,” Pryor said in response to the Bloomberg ads.

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), who has said he may vote for universal background checks, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that it “is a bridge too far for most of us.”

“If there was a secret-ballot vote it would pass overwhelmingly, because from a substantive point of view most of these senators understand that this is the right thing to do,” Matt Bennett, a gun-control advocate and senior vice president at Third Way, a centrist think tank, told the Washington Post. “What’s holding them back is pure politics.”

The NRA is flexing its power by circulating a revision to proposed legislation that critics say would eviscerate the principles agreed to last month by the Senate Judiciary Committee.Though the bill passed by the committee would criminalize all “straw purchases” at licensed gun dealers, the NRA’s draft language would require law enforcement officials to prove that the straw purchaser had reason to believe the buyer was prohibited from obtaining guns or knew that the buyer intended to commit a crime — a standard so impossible that it would be useless.Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said the NRA language would create a “ridiculous” standard for law enforcement officials trying to crack down on trafficking.

Jennifer Fiore, the vice president of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, told the Washington Post that a mom in her group had a sharp, emotional exchange with a senior aide to a Republican senator, after the staff member repeatedly referred to the record-keeping provisions in the background-check bill as akin to a national gun registry — something the NRA strongly opposes.

“The mom in this office who listened to him talking about registries versus record-keeping was so fed up with that kind of talk that she got pretty real with him, and at the end of that process I could tell he was listening to us,” Fiore said. “Our job is to pop the bubbles that they’re living in and remind them who their constituents are.”

But Fiore said the exchange illustrated the NRA’s influence. “They made it into somebody’s office before I got there,” she said.


What people are saying

14 thoughts on “Obama Facing Defeat in Gun Control Fight

  1. Obama wants gun control just like he did at Benghazi.

  2. …well then, keep your stinking guns and let the blood of young innocents flow. the dead,
    as always, will judge you as human and Christian failures.

  3. Mark Polischak says:

    We are a sad, pathetic country.

  4. Mark Polischak says:

    How can the voice of 91% of Americans not be heard?

  5. Justin Haser says:

    how does 91% of americans support a bill that infringes on our RIGHTS yet if they pass it the people will vote them to unemployment? your answer is, if passed the people will be mad. THAT IS WHY IT IS DEAD, If everyone wants it how wiyld their job be i trouble? Because NOONE WANTS IT.

  6. Democrats are hypicrits…… DIane Fienstien, that champaion of the gun control…….. carried a concealed handgun!

    They make laws for the little people.

  7. Cuomo Stalin says:

    91% is a BS figure and you all know it, you cant poll 1000 people in the inner city and call it a poll. Us so called gun nuts are just fine with background checks but what they neglect to tell you is they are trying to put a gun registry together in the background check bill, that is why this will never pass. The POS NY senator Schumer is the one that is screwing up any kind of legislation being passed. You all blame the Republicans but as a democrat I blame the democrats because like usual there is always an ulterior motive that is not being mentioned when a bill is trying to be pushed through and that is registration, like I said above. So until you gun control zombies get it through your thick sculls that us gun nuts wont stand for the federal government trying to rewrite a right that was not given to us by them, you can all cry because nothing will get done.

  8. Justin Haser says:

    Because 90% dont want it. It is not pathetic that our elected officials are listening to us. WE THE PEOPLE have spoken, and elected officials are scared to death.

  9. Kyle Childers says:

    Not that I support the NRA's position, but this is one of the most obviously biased articles on gun control that I've ever read. After reading the draft bill's language on "straw purchases", I can understand why the NRA would oppose it even if their alternative is too far in the wrong direction. A good law should punish criminals, not make people into criminals. This article addresses none of that. The NRA didn't win the gun control argument. People like Feinstein and Bloomberg lost it by pushing things too far.

    "I don’t take gun advice from the mayor of New York City." Too bad the mayor doesn't understand that.

  10. Kyle Childers says:

    No one is forcing you to stay.

  11. Joseph Moe says:

    Perhaps a clarification, that 90%+ support improving the current background check that "does not" involve creating a "national firearm registry". What is being propose by the Progressive is just that, a "National Firearm Registry", so no, your not going to get 90% to support that.

  12. Dan Thrasher says:

    Nobody polled me. I am against all new gun control laws, especially the universal background check. Good job to our congressmen for standing up to Obama on this one.

  13. Kyle Childers says:

    It's 91% of the people who participated in the poll, not 91% of Americans. That's how.

  14. Val Johnson'Mayor says:

    WTF !!! I just don't understand. Maybe I'm slow or not very educated but it seems that it's a no brainer. 91•/• of Americans & still , NO WAY ! What is it going to take to stop this madness ?

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