President Obama wept openly as he delivered a forceful defense of new executive actions on gun violence, a set of modest proposals to tighten loopholes that likely face quick legal challenges and could be vulnerable to reversal by a Republican White House, reports Politico. As the details of Obama's actions— and their limited nature — became clear, reactions of Republicans took on a tone that was more dismissive than alarm-raising. “Rather than focus on criminals and terrorists,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “he goes after the most law-abiding of citizens. His words and actions amount to a form of intimidation that undermines liberty.” There’s little chance the GOP-controlled Congress will block the president’s latest gun control moves, because there are no must-pass bills looming that Republicans could use as vehicles to force Democrats to undo Obama’s actions.
Ryan said the GOP's best chance to overturn the executive orders is to elect a Republican president in 2016. The National Rifle Association used blistering language to cast the moves as a way to distract from other more pressing problems, echoing GOP lines of attack. “Once again, President Obama has chosen to engage in political rhetoric instead of offering meaningful solutions to our nation's pressing problems,” said the NRA’s Chris Cox. “Today's event also represents an ongoing attempt to distract attention away from his lack of a coherent strategy to keep the American people safe from terrorist attacks.” The National Shooting Sports Federation, a trade group, applauded some parts of Obama's package, including completion of a long-delayed measure to include more mental health information in the federal background check system. It also cheered plans to bulk up FBI staffing to conduct checks.