Obama Fails To Find Common Ground On Guns
SCOTT SIMON, Host:
As NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports, that action did not include any new legislation.
MARA LIASSON: Here he is on Fox News.
SIMON: Well, I mean my basic reaction is, if you want to start a dialogue, it really shouldn't be about guns. The dialogue really ought to be on bad people and madmen because unless we focus on that, we're never going to get to the point.
LIASSON: On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other gun- control advocates were on Capitol Hill, blasting the NRA.
SIMON: But I've always believed that solutions are possible when people of good faith sit down together and look at the facts. So it was disappointing to see the knee-jerk reaction by the National Rifle Association of the White House's offer to talk.
LIASSON: In his op-ed, he pointed out that he's allowed people to carry guns in national parks. Earlier this month, when asked by a Mexican reporter if U.S. gun laws help arm Mexican drug runners, he began his answer this way.
P: I believe in the Second Amendment. It does provide for Americans the right to bear arms for their protection, for their safety, for hunting, for a wide range of uses.
LIASSON: But Jim Kessler, former director of Americans for Gun Safety, is sympathetic to the president, noting that neither of those remedies could pass Congress.
SIMON: To give the president credit, is he's wading into this issue, but trying to do something that may have an effect on crime in a positive way, and may be able to get done. Politically, the minefield is obvious. You've got the NRA, and you have basically two of every five households has a gun in the home; a lot of folks identify themselves as gun owners. This is an issue where rightly or wrongly, Democrats feel that it has cost them.
LIASSON: Mara Liasson, NPR News, Washington.
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