"It's been a very disappointing year for us," Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke said on MSNBC's Daily Rundown this morning, and that's why his organization has given President Barack Obama an "F" on gun control for his first year in office.
"They ran away from the issue," Helmke charged. "The biggest disappointment was his failure to speak out."
The Brady Campaign wanted to see Obama take action on closing the so-called gun show loophole, banning assault weapons and other issues. And it is sharply critical of such actions as the repeal of "Reagan era rules keeping loaded guns out of national parks."
Today, it issued a report called President Obama's First Year: Failed Leadership, Lost Lives. It makes the case that:
Throughout his career, Barack Obama has recognized that it is too easy for dangerous people to get deadly firearms. As a senator and candidate, he promised to stand up to the gun lobby and fight for strong gun laws. Unfortunately, that Barack Obama has been absent in his first year in office. In a year punctuated by mass shootings, ambush killings of police, assault weapon-toting protesters, and profligate gun trafficking from U.S. gun shops that threatens the stability of Mexico, President Obama's first-year record on gun violence prevention has been an abject failure. ...
Rather than showing leadership by calling for the stronger laws Candidate Obama had professed to support, the White House muzzled cabinet members who called for sensible gun laws. Administration officials parroted NRA slogans to just "enforce the law on the books," even though there are few such laws and those are riddled with loopholes. It is no wonder that one pro-gun writer remarked that the NRA "should erect a statue of Barack Obama in front of its D.C. headquarters."
Here is video of Helmke on MSNBC:
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The NRA is not, as you probably know, a fan of the president's either. Even before the president was elected, the NRA had said that he presented "a serious threat to Second Amendment liberties." And gun enthusiasts have been pushing firearm sales sharply higher since the president was elected, in advance of what they think might be restrictions on ownership.
The Brady Campaign is named for Reagan-era White House press secretary James Brady, who was severely wounded in the 1981 assassination attempt on the president. Helmke, a Republican, is the former mayor of Fort Wayne, Ind.