Politics

Democrats Criticize Obama for Inaction on Guns

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Frustration is growing in Democratic circles over President Obama's inaction on gun control.

After Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head, Obama promised to take steps to curb gun violence.

"We're coming on the six-month mark since the shooting and still nothing from the administration," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign. "It's time for some action."

Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, wrote a letter to the President last week, saying his administration "has not shown the leadership to combat gun violence."

However in a statement on Monday, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said that the Justice Department is "consulting with the key stakeholders to identify common-sense measures that would improve American safety and security while fully respecting Second Amendment rights."

Shultz would not elaborate, but the Associated Press reports that whatever the administration comes up with, it is likely to disappoint gun control advocates. They at least want high-capacity ammunition clips like the one used in the Giffords shooting banned. However that would require Congressional action, and that is not likely to happen.

Instead, a government official who is involved in the talks told the AP the conversation is focused on improving background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

Such changes could be made administratively, without getting Congress involved.

Gun rights groups like the NRA are dead set against more gun laws, and with Obama facing reelection in an uncertain economy, it is unlikely he will take on the gun lobby and risk alienating a large group of voters he may need in order to win in 2012.