Democrats hoping to enact new gun restrictions after last month’s school shooting have yet to coalesce around a legislative strategy, with views differing over what controls to propose and many legislators waiting for White House recommendations, reports the Wall Street Journal. President Obama offered mixed signals about how much political capital he will spend on the issue. Gun-rights advocates say new restrictions are unnecessary and wouldn’t work, and some are hoping that emotions will cool, making it harder to pass new laws as time goes on.
Proponents at the White House, on Capitol Hill and in advocacy groups have put forth a wide range of ideas for curbing gun violence in the weeks since the Dec. 14 massacre at a school in Newtown, Ct. “You have all these moving parts so you can’t really have a strategy per se at this point,” said Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center, a Washington, D.C., group that favors gun control. She said the effort needs to move quickly to benefit from the outcry generated by the Newtown killings. “Without that kind of momentum we’ve seldom been able to pass anything,” she said. Buster Bachhuber, a National Rifle Association board member and retired lawyer in Wausau, Wi., predicted that the new Congress would reject new restrictions because he said they wouldn’t help solve the problem. “In the short term, maybe when the emotion is still there,” lawmakers may be more open to new restrictions, he said. “In the long term, no, I really don’t think it is going to make a difference.”