As the one month anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy passed, the White House has announced a change of plans for President Obama’s assault weapons ban. The announcement comes after Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder met with gun supporters and gun manufacturers and sellers to come up with a viable solution for the surge in gun violence. Following the meetings, the White House calculates that a ban on assault weapons will be too tough to get through Congress.
Instead, the White House is considering more “politically achievable” goals, such as strengthening background checks and keeping guns away from the mentally ill. The news will be disappointing to those who believed President Obama would possibly use Executive Orders as well as Legislative Orders to solve the problem of gun violence as Biden disclosed .
In his public comments after the meetings, Biden — who President Obama appointed to lead the task force — did not mention an assault weapons ban at all as he discussed the work of the committee, which will be delivering suggestions to the president on Tuesday. Biden noted that his former colleagues in the Senate have long been “pretty universally opposed to any restrictions on gun ownership or what type of weapons can be purchased.”
After seeing the media’s reaction to Biden’s obvious neglect to discuss the ban on assault weapons, the White House released a statement removing blame from the president and placing it on Congress. “President Obama has been clear that Congress should reinstate the assault weapons ban and that avoiding this issue just because it’s been politically difficult in the past is not an option,” said spokesman Matt Lehrich. “He’s also stressed that no single piece of legislation alone can solve this problem, which is why he has asked Vice President Biden to explore a wide array of proposals on topics ranging from gun laws to mental health to school safety.”
David Keene, President of the National Rifle Association, also says that he does not expect to see a ban on assault weapons anytime soon. “I would say that the likelihood is that they are not going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through this Congress,” Keene said on CNN’s “State Of The Union.”
Many political observers find themselves disappointed that the ban would not pass through Congress, and see this as evidence of serious corruption. Dr. Boyce Watkins, a professor at Syracuse University and advocate against gun violence asks,”What in the world does anyone need an assault weapon for anyway? The fact that Congress may buckle on this issue shows that making a profit is clearly more important than protecting children. It also says that many of our political leaders have become corrupted beyond repair.”