Gun control has never been a winning issue for Democrats but that hasn’t stopped them from trying. In the wake of the Charleston shootings, Obama is pursuing the issue with renewed vigor.
Edward-Isaac Dovere of Politico reports:
Obama: I’m not giving up on guns
SAN FRANCISCO—Wrapping together his frustrations with the country’s continuing problems with racism and his own inability to make progress on gun control in the wake of the South Carolina church shooting, President Barack Obama stood before a bipartisan gathering of mayors here Friday and declared, “It is not good enough simply to show sympathy.”
“The apparent motivations of the shooter remind us that racism remains a blight that we have to combat together. We have made great progress but we have to be vigilant because it still lingers,” Obama said.
There must be a popular outcry for gun control, Obama said, to change the minds of a Congress that he said he knows right now won’t touch the issue.
“I refuse to act as if this is the new normal or to pretend that it’s simply sufficient to grieve and that any mention of us doing something to stop it is somehow politicizing the problem,” he said.
FOX News pointed out Obama’s political conundrum on Friday night:
Chris Stirewalt of FOX News has more:
Dems confront past failures on gun control
As an orthodox liberal, Obama had always been a proponent of gun control. But it had hardly been a top-drawer concern. For example, when a gunman killed 13 people at an immigration center in Binghamton, N.Y. in April of 2009, Obama called it “senseless violence,” but did not demand that the Democratic-controlled Congress push through gun control.
The Connecticut killings, different in nature and coming as they did when Obama was looking to do more than just defend his legacy, spurred him headlong into the divided Congress with demands for the most sweeping gun control legislation since the Clinton era. Even though the legislation wouldn’t have prevented the shooting had it been in place, gun violence became the animating issue for the Democratic Party.
The legislation was cued up and public pressure was enormous. The daily shouts from television, social media and elsewhere were for action, action, action. But before too long, Democrats lost their nerve. Then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ended up killing even a compromise package that would have required background checks at gun shows and for private sales. All the thunder came to naught.
And here we are again.
On the other side of the debate, some gun rights supporters are calling for concealed carry in churches. Valerie Richardson of the Washington Times:
Charleston shooting prompts gun-rights supporters to call for more concealed-carry at churches
He was a young gunman bent on shooting as many worshippers as possible, but Matthew J. Murray never got as far as Dylann Roof, the suspect in Wednesday’s South Carolina church massacre.
Murray had already shot and killed two people in the parking lot when he burst into the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. Before he could pull the trigger again, however, the 24-year-old shooter was gunned down by Jeanne Assam, a volunteer security guard with a concealed-carry permit.
That was eight years ago, but even though Ms. Assam was credited for saving as many as 100 lives that day, a dozen states continue to restrict the carrying of concealed firearms in churches — including South Carolina.
The Emanuel AME Church shooting that left nine dead Wednesday prompted not just a surge in calls from the left for tighter gun-control laws, but also pleas from the right for churches to protect themselves by allowing their parishioners to pack heat.
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