The Woodward News

Local News

January 17, 2013

President unveils gun proposals

(Continued)

Woodward, Okla. — Key congressional leaders were tepid in their response to the White House proposals.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner's office signaled no urgency to act, with spokesman Michael Steel saying only that "House committees of jurisdiction will review these recommendations. And if the Senate passes a bill, we will also take a look at that."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he was committed to ensuring that the Senate will consider gun violence legislation "early this year." But he did not endorse any of Obama's specific proposals.

The president vowed to use "whatever weight this office holds" to fight for his recommendations. He's likely to travel around the country in the coming weeks to rally public support and could engage his still-active presidential campaign operation in the effort. But he'll have to overcome a well-financed counter-effort by the NRA.

"This will be difficult," Obama acknowledged. "There will be pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists publicly warning of a tyrannical, all-out assault on liberty — not because that's true, but because they want to gin up fear or higher ratings or revenue for themselves."

The president, speaking in front of an audience that included families of some of those killed in Newtown, said 900 Americans had lost their lives to gun violence in the four weeks since the school shootings.

"We can't put this off any longer," Obama declared. "Every day we wait, the number will keep growing."

Many Democrats say an assault weapons ban faces the toughest road in Congress. Obama wants lawmakers to reinstate the expired 1994 ban on the high-grade weapons, and strengthen the measure to prevent manufacturers from circumventing the prohibition by making cosmetic changes to banned guns.

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