President probably won't touch gun issue

President Barack Obama greets people after arriving at Oakland International Airport in Oakland, Calif., Monday, July 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
July 23, 2012 6:48:05 PM PDT
One day after meeting with Colorado movie theater shooting victim's families in Aurora, Colorado, it's highly likely gun violence is on the president's mind. However, political experts tell us he probably won't want to talk about tighter gun control laws because that would be an issue that could only hurt him.

The president has not yet said it himself, but his White House press secretary told reporters, the president thinks existing gun laws are adequate.

That is not what Sen. Dianne Feinstein thinks, D-San Francisco. She and others have stepped up the call for bans on assault weapons and high capacity ammo clips.

"My thoughts are this, pure and simple, weapons of war don't belong on the streets," said Feinstein.

Police say James Holmes had an AR15 assault rifle with a 100 round drum.

The man who authored California's assault weapons ban, former State Sen. Don Perata, says there is no way that sort of weapon should be unregulated.

"We regulate cellphones for crying out loud, we don't regulate a 45 automatic nearly as much as a cellphone," said Perata.

But Perata adds that the gun lobby is so powerful, the president will not make gun control a campaign issue.

The National Rifle Association already has a website accusing the president of wanting to be the most anti-gun president in the nation's history, even though gun control advocates like the Brady Campaign have given the president a failing grade.

Yih-Chau Chang is spokesman for a 600-member gun rights organization in the Bay Area.

"Right now, I believe that a lot of the regulations that would take place under President Obama would probably take place in his second term if he were re-elected," said Chang.

But the facts are the president hasn't pushed for tighter gun controls, even though polls over the past couple of years show a large majority, 60 percent of Americans, support stricter enforcement. Sixty-two percent told a CNN poll that that the federal government should be permitted to ban assault weapons. And in that same poll, 61 percent, said they supported a ban on high capacity clips.

So why wouldn't the president want to campaign on such an apparently popular issue?

"The troublesome demographic for Obama are white working class, particularly in swing states and right now they lean against gun control," said ABC 7 News political analyst Bruce Cain, Ph.D.

The president has been campaigning hard to get those white, blue collar voters in swing states. He does not want to lose to Mitt Romney over gun control. And in spite of what the NRA will tell you, it really wouldn't fit with his past record. He has not been advocating tighter gun laws in his first four years.

Just one more point to think about -- the president is in Oakland Monday night, where so far this year 60 people have died in this city, almost all by gunfire. And that is in spite of Oakland police taking 400 guns off the streets.


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