Two months from today, the federal assault weapons ban dissolves like a wisp of gun smoke. Even though he proudly carried the National Rifle Association’s seal of approval in 2000, President Bush says he supports renewing the 10-year-old ban, but he has refused to push Congress in that direction, the Los Angeles Times writes in an editorial. His word to congressional leaders would matter greatly now, just as his continued silence suggests that he values the NRA’s support over Americans’ safety.
The Times says, “The NRA’s strategy is to get its friends in Congress to run out the clock on the assault weapons ban. Toward that end, House leaders have blocked any vote on bills to extend the ban for another decade, and a Senate bill amended with renewal language died in March. Yet congressional leaders are pushing for votes on time-wasting wedge issues such as proposed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage and flag desecration…Bush justifies the war in Iraq by insisting that it has made this nation safer. But the president and his congressional allies risk making American cities and towns far more dangerous by their shameful failure to renew the assault gun ban. They have just 61 days left.”