Surrounded by school children from across the country who wrote in after last month’s school shooting, President Obama will present a package of legislative proposals and executive actions today that the White House is selling as “the most comprehensive federal regulations of the firearms industry since 1968.”
But don’t expect any of it to make it through Congress.
Outside of the most liberal House and Senate members there simply is zero interest in pursuing gun control legislation this year. “Let’s be realistic,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told PBS this weekend. “In the Senate, we’re going to do what we think can get through the House and I’m not going to go through a bunch of these gyrations just to say we’ve done something. … Is it something that can pass the Senate? Maybe. Is it something that can pass the House? I doubt it.”
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was equally dismissive on CNN Sunday, “An assault-weapons stand-alone ban on just guns alone, in the political reality we have, will not go anywhere.” And Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., who is up for reelection in 2014, told The Argus Leader that states should handle gun control.
If the Senate does not move first, don’t expect the House to move at all. Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., who represents a moderate Republican district that includes Allentown sees no need to antagonize his constituents. “This AR-15 that they’re all talking about is one of the most popular hunting rifles in the country,” Dent told Politico.