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Won’t Back Down

18 Jan 2013

Won’t Back Down

As USA Today writes, “President Obama unveiled the most sweeping set of gun-control proposals in two decades on Wednesday, a package that includes universal background checks on all gun buyers and a renewed ban on ‘military-style’ assault weapons.”  … “The beauty of a second term presidency, at least for the man in the Oval Office, is that political calculations become less important as he considers policies he wants to pursue. Obama’s gun-safety agenda reflects just that reality …” Politico makes a similar point: “For one of the few instances in his presidency, he now appears willing to burn political capital by pressuring Senate Democrats to vote for a measure that is likely to die in the House, a symbolic victory that sets the stage, he hopes, for more meaningful ones.” IT’S ALL ATTITUDE Ron Brownstein, National Journal sees the President’s proposals as a “change in attitude … rapidly accelerating a process that began during his campaign … since November he has confidently picked fights with Republicans—and challenged the most conservative members of his own party—on a broad range of foreign-policy and domestic social issues. Besides gun control these include immigration, the pace of withdrawal from Afghanistan and the nomination of Republican senator Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary, a red flag for the GOP’s neo-conservative wing.” MORE “Many see Obama’s newfound aggression as also … reflecting the changing demographics that got Obama re-elected. Since the 1970s Democrats have often been paralyzed by the fear of losing culturally conservative white voters if they moved too far left, particularly on social and foreign-policy issues. And in fact, those voters did stampede away from Obama last November in even larger numbers than in 2008: Exit polls conducted on election day found that Republican Mitt Romney carried over three-fifths of both whites older than 45 and whites without a four-year college degree. Yet Obama not only won without them, but won convincingly.” NOT THE FACTS, MA’AM USA Today writes, President Obama’s demand Wednesday for research into gun violence could usher in a flood of data on the nation’s 32,000 annual gun deaths after decades of an information blackout. Scientists and policy makers say they have little scientific data about gun violence after Congress prohibited federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), from offering research grants to study anything that could be used to promote gun control.” JON STEWART Responding to conservatives claiming President Obama is acting like a king or tyrant by calling for new gun control measures, said, “… Maybe it’s the President’s executive orders that smack of authoritarianism to gun advocates on the right. But the measures include launching a national dialogue on mental health and directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes of gun violence. Really? Tyranny?”

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