Obama not hopeful on gun control law

Obama not hopeful on gun control law

WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
Obama not hopeful on gun control law

President Obama says that VP Joe Biden had now delivered ‘common sense’ reform recommendations after meeting with several groups. REUTERS photo

U.S. President Barack Obama pledged Jan. 14 to vigorously pursue “sensible” gun control but, a month after a school massacre traumatized America, questioned whether tough new laws could pass Congress.

Obama said that Vice President Joe Biden had now delivered “common sense” reform recommendations after meeting gun control advocates; firearms lobby groups, mental health experts and software and movie industry officials.

The president said he would lay out his response to the American people later in the week, but backed a renewal of a ban on assault weapons, curbs on high capacity magazines and better background checks for gun owners.

“My starting point is not to worry about the politics. My starting point is to focus on what should we be doing to make sure that our children are safe?” Obama said at a White House press conference.

He called on members of Congress, many of whom oppose greater gun control legislation, to examine their consciences over whether the carnage at an elementary school in Newtown should prompt a new approach.

Obama said he would “vigorously pursue” gun control measures early in his second term, both through legislation and executive actions, but left some ambiguity over prospects for reform in a polarized political environment. “Will all of them get through this Congress? I don’t know,” Obama said.