Biden to meet with entertainment industry, NRA, and others for gun control ideas

posted at 5:21 pm on January 8, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The White House is ramping up its efforts to hammer out some broad ideas for gun control measures in short order (and measures of the variety that do not require all of that pesky Congressional meddling to become the law of the land are more than fine by them, hem hem). President Obama appointed Biden to head up that special task force, and this week, the vice president will be meeting with representatives from various interest groups, lest the administration appear too biased or inattentive to all manner of suggestions:

Vice President Biden will meet this week with the National Rifle Association and a variety of other groups as his task force on guns intensifies its efforts.

Biden will meet Wednesday with gun-safety organizations and shooting victims groups and on Thursday will meet with gun ownership organizations and sportsmen who use guns recreationally, according to the White House.

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said the organization accepted an invitation received from the White House late Friday.

“We are sending a rep to hear what they have to say,” Arulanandam said.

I would merely like to point out that I do not appreciate that false linguistic dichotomy: The NRA is one of the biggest “gun-safety” organization there is, not to mention a major advocate for anti-victimhood. I sincerely hope we’re not meant to be equating “gun-safety groups” with “groups that want to institute more gun control” here, because those are not necessarily the same thing. (In that vein, Nancy Pelosi tried to substitute the term “gun violence prevention” in place of “gun control” earlier today, presumably to maker her agenda sound a little friendlier — as if preventing violence somehow isn’t a huge part of what groups like the NRA are all about!).

And when the White House said they were looking for a broad range of ideas, they apparently really meant to leave no stone unturned (or at least, they don’t want to appear as if they’re leaving any stone unturned):

Biden’s task force is examining legislation that would ban assault rifles, but is also looking at the role of violent movies and videogames in mass shootings and whether there is adequate access to mental health services.

Biden and his task force are slated to hold meeting this week with victims of gun violence, gun safety groups, hunting groups, and gun owners, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

“His group will also meet with representatives of the entertainment and video-game industries,” Carney said.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will meet with mental health and disability advocates, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan is slated to meet with parent, teacher and education groups, Carney said.

Of course, I’m wondering if getting the entertainment industry involved isn’t really about drumming up some friendly PR for whatever gun-control measures the White House does come up with more than anything else — rationale probably pretty similar to their reasoning for making these particular phone calls, via Politico:

The White House on Tuesday afternoon reached out to major philanthropic foundations not typically associated with gun control to gauge how much they are willing to get involved in President Obama’s future gun violence prevention efforts, according to a person on the call.

The call, which featured Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Jonathan Greenblatt, the director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, and members of Vice President Biden’s staff, was largely a “listening session,” according to the person on the call, who represents a foundation invited to participate. …

“There’s only one reason why you get a bunch of deep-pocketed funders on the phone,” the participant said. “It’s not because they’re great dancers. It’s because at the end of the day you need to tap into them for something.”

Hmmm.


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