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

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs