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

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs