Starting Tuesday and continuing for the next two weeks, the Justice Department will meet with people on both sides of the gun debate to come up with possible legislation or administrative actions on weapons. But there will be one voice noticeably absent -- the National Rifle Association.
According to a report in The New York Times, the NRA has declined an invitation to attend.
“Why should I or the NRA go sit down with a group of people that have spent a lifetime trying to destroy the Second Amendment in the United States?” asked NRA head Wayne LaPierre.
This effort follows Obama’s op-ed in a Tucson newspaper on Sunday in which he called for “a new discussion” on ways to better enforce and strengthen existing laws to keep mentally unstable, violent and criminal people from getting guns.
LaPierre said his group has long supported proposals to stop the mentally ill from buying guns.
“It shouldn’t be a dialogue about guns; it really should be a dialogue about dangerous people,” LaPierre said.
The NRA is the most powerful gun lobby in the country, but by refusing to take part in the discussion, it is "possibly dooming it from the start" according to The Times.
The administration had expected the NRA to attend a meeting later this week, but unless something changes, the summit will go on with the most influential voice on guns in the country.