• 59°

Obama’s gun gambit

Excerpts of commentary about President Obama’s executive action on guns:

“This is it, really?” Jennifer Baker, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm (no pun intended) asks the New York Times rhetorically. “This is what they’ve been hyping for how long now? This is the proposal they’ve spent seven years putting together? They’re not really doing anything.”

She refers, of course, to what the White House calls President Obama’s “commonsense steps . . . to keep guns out of the wrong hands.” …

As for the “action,” as per a White House fact sheet, it consists mostly of an effort to “keep guns out of the wrong hands through background checks.”

— James Taranto

WallStreetJournal.com

In October, a CBS News/New York Times poll found that 92 percent of Americans — including 87 percent of Republicans — favor background checks for all gun buyers.

… So how can Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, have been right when she said on Saturday, in a pre-emptive response to the forthcoming White House measures, that “the majority of Americans oppose more gun control”? Because Americans’ responses to polls on guns aren’t always internally consistent. For instance, in that same Quinnipiac poll last month, half of respondents said they oppose stricter gun laws in the U.S. — meaning that a significant proportion of people who said they backed a law requiring background checks said they oppose stricter gun laws.

— FiveThirtyEight.com

Republicans, according to past studies, indicate they are more motivated than Democrats to donate money and vote for candidates based on gun platforms.

In an election cycle in which likely Republican voters say they’re more animated than Democrats about the presidential contest, a serious gun control clash could serve to enlarge the enthusiasm gap. Obama wants to excite his base and help the Democratic nominee to victory, but the president’s vow to sidestep Congress combined with the specifics of his gun control announcements could inspire conservatives to vote in larger numbers in November, no matter who the GOP nominee turns out to be.

Regardless of how he uses his bully pulpit, the president will not alter some basic truths about guns in America: More Republicans than Democrats are gun owners, and gun owners favor gun rights (and view the debate as central to their political engagement).

— RealClearPolitics.com

… Courts have struck down, repeatedly, efforts by governments to restrict individuals’ abilities to own firearms. In other cases, courts have demanded at least legislative permission before restrictions have been imposed.

If Obama could win for himself and his successor broader power to regulate the sale of firearms for the executive alone he will have struck a small, but very significant blow in his bid for large-scale gun control. Obama ultimately wants the right to regulate firearms the same way he can regulate the environment, banks and food, and this could be the start.

The path to the kinds of confiscations that Obama has said might be necessary could run through a loophole just like this.

— Chris Stirewalt

Fox News

President Obama closed by tearing up, the image I predict will be used, virtually forever, in “news” reports about this event. The clicking of camera shutters at that moment was almost deafening.

He told us the gun lobby wants guns available to “anybody, anytime,” and we have to stand up to “gun lobby lies.”

… The gun lobby and nobody wants guns available to “anybody, anytime,” that’s a bald faced lie. Jihadis, no guns. Hardened criminals, no guns. Crazy people, no guns. That’s what the NRA stands for.

— Alan Korwin

Townhall.com

Even as they talk about being the people’s representatives, members of Congress, almost all of them Republican, have chosen to do the bidding of a gun lobby that is astonishingly out of step with the public. For years, about 9 in 10 Americans — and nearly as many households with a National Rifle Association member — have supported universal background checks, and yet the N.R.A. reflexively opposes them.

So who better represents the wishes of the American people?

— New York Times

Comments

Local

Locals to be inducted into NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame

Business

Fall fun, with a twist: Patterson Farm adjusts to guidelines, offers new version of traditional events

Nation/World

Sayers, Piccolo friendship lives on in ‘Brian’s Song’

Education

Partners in learning passes last year’s special needs fashion show fundraiser with all-virtual event

Education

Shoutouts

Elections

Former history teacher to use ‘working knowledge of the issues’ in state House race

Business

Chamber adds more than 50 new businesses during Total Resource Campaign

Education

Virtually no internet: Rural NC families struggle with online access for school-age children

Education

School board candidates for Salisbury seat split on consolidation

Education

Horizons Unlimited taking learning to students this semester

Nation/World

NTSB: Pilot’s actions likely caused Earnhardt Jr. plane crash

Nation/World

2 Louisville officers shot amid Breonna Taylor protests

Coronavirus

Seven new COVID-19 positives reported at Piedmont Correctional

Crime

Blotter: Police respond to shots fired call outside of Salisbury home

Coronavirus

Rowan tied for fifth among counties for most COVID-19 deaths

Health

‘Nudge from God’: 10 years after diagnosis, Rockwell man to receive kidney from live donor

Crime

Salisbury police warn residents after increased trailer thefts

Education

Elon heightens alert as 32 test positive; Wake Forest in good shape to continue instruction as is

Cleveland

Corn picker catches fire at Knox Farm, destroying nearly eight acres

Nation/World

House easily passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown

News

Supreme Court vacancy looms large in 2nd NC Senate debate

Coronavirus

Additional COVID-19 death reported in Rowan; Cooper announces small business relief

Crime

Asheville man charged with heroin possession following traffic checkpoint

Education

Susan Cox conceding school board race, putting support behind opponent