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Obama Smacks Down the NRA on Background Checks and High Capacity Magazines
President Obama delivered another blow to the NRA by zeroing in on background checks and banning high capacity magazines during a speech in Minneapolis today.
Here are some clips from CNN:
The president began by discussing why law enforcement has to have a seat at the table on gun control. Obama said if there is one life to save, we have an obligation to try. He talked about the steps taken in Minneapolis to reduce gun violence. Obama said, “We don’t have to agree on everything to agree that it is time to do something.” Obama discussed his own executive actions taken to reduce gun violence. The president turned up the heat on Congress, and said they need to act soon. Obama said the vast majority of gun owners and NRA members support federal background checks. The president talked about preventing gun sales to criminals.
The president made his position clear when he said, “Weapons of war have no place on our streets.”
Obama called for a restored ban on assault weapons and a 10 round magazine limit. The President said that weapons of war have no place in schools or on the streets. Obama called on Congress to confirm an ATF director for the first time in six years. The president pointed out that there has been a lot talk in Washington, but nothing has been done yet. Obama said the gunman in Tuscon might never have been able to get 33 rounds off in 15 seconds if we had a magazine limit.
The president said it is important to engage with people who don’t agree with us on everything in order to find areas of common agreement. Obama called out the NRA by saying lobbyists in Washington are saying something different than the polling. The President called on the American people to push back against the NRA’s propaganda by telling Congress that his plan doesn’t limit the Second Amendment, and there is no plan to take away guns. The president said there won’t be perfect solutions that will save every life, but that we have to act.
The president’s focus on background checks and banning high capacity magazines suggested where the White House thinks their best chances for legislative success are. It was significant that the president only devoted one sentence of his speech to the assault weapons ban. The lack of emphasis on banning assault weapons is a strong hint that the White House knows that the odds of getting such a ban through Congress are slim.
Obama’s focus on banning high capacity magazines was almost a direct reply to Wayne LaPierre’s comments on Fox News Sunday that, “If someone’s invading your house, I mean you shouldn’t say you only have fix or six shots. You ought to have what you need to protect yourself, not what some politician thinks is reasonable.”
President Obama is smacking around the NRA on a daily basis. The gun lobby seems powerless to stop public opinion from moving against them, and this president from driving the country towards real reform. Right now, Obama is winning both the PR battle and the political war. Beneath all of their bluster and mythical power, Obama is exposing the NRA as just another right wing fringe group that is out of step with rest of the country.