Obama often caught in the middle on gun control debate

11:40 AM, Dec 16, 2012   |    comments
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by David Jackson, USA TODAY

President Obama has often found himself in the middle when it comes to gun control.

Gun control advocates have long questioned what they call Obama's inactivity on the issue, and their demands for new laws are amping up after the Friday shooting that killed 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Connecticut.

Yet, the National Rifle Association and other gun owners' groups have claimed for just as long that Obama has some sort of secret plan for more gun restrictions.

In February, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said: "All that first term, lip service to gun owners is just part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment during his second term."

Gun control supporters scoff at those attacks, and are now demanding Obama do something in the wake of the tragedy.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told NBC's Meet The Press that she will introduce a bill this week to revive the assault weapons ban.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, on the same program, said: "The president is the one who has to lead this ... The president campaigned in '08 on an assault weapon ban."

Bloomberg also criticized Obama's initial statements on the shootings as too tepid.

In his Saturday radio address, Obama said, "we have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics."

Obama didn't specify what he means by "meaningful action," but that is likely to change in the days ahead.

Copyright 2012 USATODAY.com

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