News / USA

Obama Planning 'Round Two' of Push For Gun Laws

President Obama White House speaking on gun control vote with family members of school shooting victims and others, April 17, 2013President Obama White House speaking on gun control vote with family members of school shooting victims and others, April 17, 2013
x
President Obama White House speaking on gun control vote with family members of school shooting victims and others, April 17, 2013
President Obama White House speaking on gun control vote with family members of school shooting victims and others, April 17, 2013
Kent Klein
After gun control legislation was soundly defeated in the U.S. Senate last week, President Barack Obama said the votes were only “round one” in the fight to reduce gun violence.  But some Americans are skeptical that there will be a round two.
 
Despite the political setback, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Monday the gun control campaign will go on.

“Well, as I said before, I don't have a legislative strategy to lay out to you today. But there will be a round two and there will be a continued effort by this administration,” Carney said.

No decision has been announced on when or even whether the White House will try again to push gun control legislation through Congress.  

In the House of Representatives, a bipartisan bill requiring stricter background checks for gun buyers has been introduced. Democrat Mike Thompson, chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, sponsored the measure, along with Republican Peter King.

But the Republican-led House is likely to be even less receptive to gun control legislation than the Democratic-controlled Senate, where last week’s bills failed to gain the 60 votes needed for passage.

Thompson said the political realities of the situation were made clear to him when he asked a Republican lawmaker to add his name to the legislation as a co-author.

“He said, ‘I will vote for it, but I do not want to co-author.’  And I asked him, I said, ‘Do you know how many people in your district support this?’  He said, ‘Yeah, I saw the poll.’  He said, ‘93 percent in my district support this.’  I said, ‘And you do not want to co-author it?’  He said, ‘Not one of them have called me,’” Thompson said.

Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association and other gun owners’ groups have spent heavily to defeat gun control initiatives and mobilized their members.

Michael Hammond, legal adviser for the gun rights group Gun Owners of America, says the lobbying effort strikes fear into lawmakers.

“What they have reason to be afraid of is 100,000,000 American gun owners, that when we say, ‘Here is what the situation is,’ that millions of Americans will get on the phones and not get off the phones until they have made it clear to their senators that they value the Second Amendment,” Hammond said.

Hammond says his group has targeted 15 Democratic senators, up for re-election in 2014, who voted for the doomed Senate gun bill.

At the same time, public support for gun control legislation appears to have slipped since the killing of 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut school in December.

A new public opinion poll by USA Today shows that only 49 percent of Americans surveyed favor new gun control laws, and President Obama is considering options outside Capitol Hill.

With the defeat of the legislative package, the president said he will pursue executive actions designed to reduce gun violence.

“Even without Congress, my administration will keep doing everything it can to protect more of our communities.  We are going to address the barriers that prevent states from participating in the existing background check system.  We are going to give law enforcement more information about lost and stolen guns, so it can do its job.  We are going to help to put in place emergency plans to protect our children in their schools,” Obama said.

And as he has done before, Obama is asking Americans to put pressure on their lawmakers to back any future gun violence bills.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid