Congressional leaders weigh in on gun-control debate

posted at 6:41 pm on July 26, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Both President Obama and Mitt Romney have now weighed in with words that are vague on specific deeds since last week’s deadly shooting in Colorado sparked a major national gun-control conversation, and Congress must also have their oh-so-careful say.

Pelosi on Thursday said Obama’s careful approach is the right one. “I support what the president said yesterday,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. “I thought his comments were very thoughtful [and] provided leadership when he said we need to build a national consensus to reduce violence in our country.”

She’s not the only Democratic leader bucking calls from some in the party to move swiftly to install tougher gun laws in the wake of the Colorado massacre.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), a strong gun-rights supporter, dismissed the idea that the Senate would consider gun-control legislation — or take the lead on that issue — anytime soon.

“With the schedule we have, we’re not going to be able to do anything on gun control,” Reid told reporters.

Just further evidence that, despite the many heated discussions and the high-profile appeals for more gun control in the last few days, nothing major is going to come of it, and definitely not before November’s election. Gun rights are far too popular with far too many Americans to risk appearing sympathetic with the idea of any radical new gun control legislation, as even any Democrat coming from a non-urban constituency can tell you. And of course, as Boehner points out, criminals aren’t supposed to have AK-47s — that’s a law that’s already on the books, and paying some lip service to better enforcement of that law is a pretty safe way to sound actively engaged without being controversial.


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