The task force was supposed to have suggestions for O by the end of the month but that plan was kiboshed when the political reality of attention spans after mass shootings began to set in. So, new plan: The national
lecture “conversation” on gun control will begin officially on Tuesday.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. told sports shooting groups Thursday he would send his recommendations on preventing gun violence to President Barack Obama by Jan. 15, according to a White House pool report.
Biden mentioned several measures that he said he has heard supported repeatedly — universal background checks, limits on high capacity magazines, and the government’s ability to do research on gun violence. Biden clarified that background checks would go beyond closing the so-called gun show loophole.
He compared the current limits on federal data gathering with the 1970s restrictions on federal research over the cause of traffic fatalities. He said there is a need to study which weapons are used most to kill and which tend to be trafficked.
The One will issue some sort of executive order too, likely tightening reporting requirements for federal agencies related to gun ownership and mental health and directing the DOJ to bump up prosecutions of gun traffickers. Eric Holder himself will be sitting in on Biden’s meeting today with major gun retailers like Wal-Mart, during which the veep will remind them that requiring universal background checks means fewer sales for private sellers and therefore more sales for them. Corporate buy-offs: They worked for ObamaCare with the pharmaceutical industry, why couldn’t they work for this?
Just one question: Whither the new assault-weapons ban? That’s a glaring omission from Biden’s list of new measures on which he senses a consensus. There’s no doubt they’re going to propose one but there’s also no doubt that the House will sink it. I think the AWB is really more of a negotiating tactic than an earnest demand: They’ll put it out there next week as their unrealistic opening offer so that they can drop it later in favor of more “reasonable” feasible measures like universal background checks and banning high-capacity magazines. Background checks, in particular, enjoy massive support, with one recent poll showing 92% in favor of requiring them at gun shows and a CNN poll taken last year finding 94% support for checks on all potential gun buyers. That’d be a very tough vote for congressional Republicans and of course Biden knows it, which is why he’s talking it up today. If you can’t get your policies passed, you might as well use them as a way to make the opposition squirm.