President Obama is proposing quite an expansive set of gun control legislation. It’s very impressive and it’ll be interesting to see whether it can past. In a sense, this will be atest of Green Lanterism. All the necessary conditions are set. Obama is fully behind it and willing to go all the way, plus he’ll never run for office again. A lot of Congress is skeptical to outright opposed. The public is engaged on this topic, both for and against. Can Obama convince Congress to Do The Right Thing and pass his legislation? It’s almost like Spielberg is directing a Tony Kushner script here!
I’m skeptical. I do believe it’s possible that something will pass, but I doubt it will put a major dent in American gun culture or violence, if for no other reason that there’s already an insane number of guns in people’s hands and everyone who wants them will buy 50 of them before whatever ban is passed goes into effect.
Fundamentally, my concern is the expense of political capital on this issue instead of taking the lead on an issue of nearly equal moral import: immigration. I know Obama is still planning an immigration push for this year, but it’s clearly fallen behind gun control on the priority list. There’s a couple of problems here. First, unlike the likely cosmetic changes of the gun bill, an immigration bill is likely to lead to very real changes that will have very real effects on people’s lives. Second, Marco Rubio is stepping into the breach to push his own ideas, which could have the dual effect of watering down immigration reform and convincing some Latinos that in the end Democrats don’t care very much about them.
In related news, the NRA is a deeply loathsome organization. Josh Marshall with more harsh language against the nation’s most insidious political group.