NRA blasts Biden after White House meeting on gun violence

NRA claims that Biden would abridge the Second Amendment. Photo: Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General at the meeting with reps from gun owner groups AP

WASHINGTON,  January 10, 2013 — The National Rifle Association (NRA) are not happy campers. Not after meeting with Vice President Joe Biden at the highly touted White House conclave called to discuss gun violence in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre that left 27 people dead, including 20 small children.

After coming out of the hour and half meeting, NRA said in a prepared statement that rather than talk about how to prevent gun violence, Biden focused on undermining Second Amendment rights:

“We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment.”

“While claiming that no policy proposals would be ‘prejudged,’ this task force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners — honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans.”

There now seems little chance that the gun lobbyist and the White House will be able to work together to curb gun violence. In fact, the NRA stressed that fact, saying, “We will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of Congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works — and what does not.”

There was hope in some quarters that perhaps the face to face meeting between Biden and the representatives of gun owners organizations might move the discussion forward on assault weapons and multi-round ammunition clips. Biden had said earlier that he believed the administration could do “a great deal” about gun violence “without in any way imposing on and impinging on the rights of the Second Amendment.”

From its statement, however, the NRA obviously felt differently.

While Biden met with the gun owner groups, Attorney General Eric Holder met with representatives from Wal-Mart, one of the biggest retailers of firearms. Immediately after the Sandy Hook shootings, Wal-Mart removed its website listings for the Bushmaster AR15, a semiautomatic assault rifle, similar to the ones used in the Connecticut school rampage and the movie shootings in Aurora, Col. No word at this time about the discussion between Holder and Wal-Mart has yet emerged.

Later Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined Biden, the NRA and the other reps from the gun owners groups.

Biden and Cabinet members have been meeting with representatives from the entertainment and video industries, sportsmen’s organizations, and women’s, education, mental health, and wildlife groups. The Vice President plans to have a report with recommendations for legislation and action on the President’s desk by Tuesday.

Biden did allude to a possible Presidential executive action as well presenting legislation to Congress, which means that President Obama could be able to circumvent Congress if it doesn’t take action to curb gun violence.

It is anybody’s guess just what kind of recommendations Biden will make after hearing from all the stakeholders, but the polls do show that the public wants something done and done soon. 

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Catherine Poe

Catherine was named one of the top Progressives in Maryland along with Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congresswoman Donna Edwards. She has been a guest of President Obama in the Rose Garden.

As past president of Long Island NOW, she worked to reform women's prisons in New York, open the construction trades to women, change laws to safeguard battered women, and protect the rights of rape victims. 

Long active in Democratic politics, she served as the presidentof the Talbot Democrats in Maryland for six years and fought to getthe Health Care Reform bill passed.

Catherine has been published in a diverse range of newspapers and magazines, including Newsday, Star Democrat, Rocky Mountain News, Yellowstone News, and the Massachusetts Review.

If Catherine has learned anything over the years it is that progressive change does not come easily, but in baby steps. 

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