As Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats prepare to begin another big push for gun control measures, the White House is claiming that they’ve made progress on the issue and have momentum on their side:
On Tuesday, Vice President Biden will celebrate the Obama administration’s efforts to reduce gun violence with a speech at the White House. The event is not meant to be sarcastic in nature.
Three months and a day after Senate fractures defeated the White House efforts to create new gun control legislation, Obama administration officials insist guns are still at the top of their agenda — and that they’ve made real progress in paving the way to eventual gun control by changing the political conversation.
Back in April, the Senate defeated two major proposals — the Manchin-Toomey amendment, which would expanded background checks at gun shows and online firearms sales, and the Assault Weapons Ban — handing President Barack Obama a significant legislative defeat.
So have they changed the conversation? The signs point to “no.” Gun control groups with a long-standing goal of curtailing the Second Amendment have targeted various members who opposed the measures, but initial polls showed that a plurality of Americans weren’t that concerned about the issue. And at the end of last month, a Reason-Rupe poll showed that 62% of Americans want the Senate to move on from the gun control issue.
Another interesting aspect is that Organizing for Action (OFA), President Obama’s grassroots organization, recently held a rally where a grand total of three people — yes, three people — showed up in support for support of gun control measures introduced in the California legislature. That doesn’t exactly indicate that they’ve changed the conversation.