- No mas: Principal bans Spanish language in intercom announcement
- Hacking software could put ‘zombie drone army’ in user’s hands
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- 10 whales dead, 41 others stranded in Everglades
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
Obama takes gun control debate to Connecticut, challenges Congress to remember victims
With his calls for gun control faltering in Washington, President Obama on Monday traveled to Connecticut, the site of December’s school shooting rampage, to portray this week’s potential Senate showdown as a choice between saving children’s lives or caving to special-interest gun lobbies.
Leading chants of “We need a vote” from the audience at the University of Hartford about 50 miles from Sandy Hook Elementary SchoolMr. Obama demanded that Congress hold votes on the contentious gun controls he has proposed: background checks on all gun purchases and bans on military-style semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
But a deal on expanding background checks the new top goal for gun control advocates remains elusive, and Mr. Obama is facing increasing pressure from many in his party to show leadership.
“What’s more important to you: Our children or an A grade from the gun lobby?” Mr. Obama challenged members of Congress. “If there’s even one step we can take to keep somebody from murdering dozens of innocents in the span of minutes, shouldn’t we be taking that step? If there’s just one thing we can do to keep one father from having to bury his child, isn’t that worth fighting for?”
The legislation Senate Democrats will bring to the floor this week would require universal background checks on virtually all gun sales, impose stiff penalties for gun trafficking and straw purchasers, and increase funding for school safety measures.
But the momentum gun control appeared to have in December, after the massacre of 20 students at Sandy Hook, has faded amid opposition from Republicans and even some Democrats.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, also has pledged to allow senators the opportunity to offer amendments that would ban so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines two effectively symbolic measures that are widely presumed to fail.
That leaves the background checks as the chief fight. The current bill’s language is considered a nonstarter by most congressional Republicans, but several teams of negotiations are underway to try to write a compromise.
Sens. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, and Patrick J. Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, were in talks Monday on a compromise that could expand background checks to sales at gun shows and online, rather than all private sales.
But whether the bill comes to the floor is in doubt.
Thirteen Republican senators have said that they will oppose letting a bill come to the floor of the chamber if they believe it “will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions.”
The Republican stance enraged Democrats.
“Shame on them,” Mr. Reid said Monday on the Senate floor. “The least Republicans owe the families and friends of those gunned down at a movie theater in Colorado and a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and a shopping mall in Oregon and every day on the streets of American cities is a meaningful conversation about how to change America’s culture of violence. The least Republicans owe America is a vote.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- Scientists could unlock mystery of life beyond Earth within a decade
- House Democrats give grudging support to 10-year gun ban extension
- Extending plastic gun ban just first step?
- Obama hints at staying in D.C. after leaving office
Latest Blog Entries
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- First Dog Sunny knocks down Ashtyn Gardner; Michelle Obama yanks leash
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- MILLER: Obamas EPA closing smelter will not affect ammunition supply
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- HURT: Postal Service misses address by a whole continent
- Inside the Ring: China targeting U.S. spy flights
- HARPER: 'Knockout game' not a myth to liberal Sharpton
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
Playing Through covers the world of PGA golf, as well as tips your the average golfer to play better.