Senior White House adviser David Axelrod was on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday morning. He said that Obama is not afraid of the NRA, but the White House believes that there are more immediate options available to deal with the violence along the U.S./Mexico border than an assault weapons ban.
Here is the whole program:
Guest host Harry Smith asked Axelrod of the White House is afraid of the NRA. Axelrod answered, “Not– not at all. The White House is interested in pursuing policies that we can enact quickly to deal with the issue of violence in this country, to deal with the issue of violence on the border. That means tightening enforcement and doing the things that I just mentioned on the border. This isn’t about that. This is about being effective in dealing with a problem that’s in front of us.”
Smith then asked him about a timetable for reinstating the ban, “Well, you know, we’ll monitor that– we’ll monitor the issue. And if there’s a consensus, we’ll move on it. But, Harry, as you know, we’re faced with an enormous array of challenges. And we need to make some choices as to which to pursue first.” In other words, don’t hold your breath waiting for the ban to be brought back.
Barack Obama was elected by winning states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. The assault weapons ban is not supported in any of these states. Plus, the Blue Dog Democrats will not support reinstatement of the ban. The votes aren’t there for passage. In addition, the ban wouldn’t solve the problem. The better option would be to hire more agents along the border to enforce the existing laws.
Obama is practical and pragmatic, so why would his administration get involved in an unnecessary political fight that would serve to revive his Republican opponents? It would be different if the White House believed that the ban would reduce violence, but clearly they don’t, and they aren’t going to waste their political capital on a fight that they really don’t care about. Obama has the power to get the ban passed, but why antagonize the NRA and Republicans for a piece of legislation that won’t solve the problem?