Scott Wilson and Philip Rucker
December 18, 2012
President Obama on Monday began the first serious push of his administration to attempt to reduce gun violence, directing Cabinet members to formulate a set of proposals that could include reinstating a ban on assault rifles.
The effort will be led by Vice President Biden, according to two people outside the government who have spoken to senior administration officials since Friday, when a gunman killed his mother and rampaged through Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., killing 20 children, six adults and himself.
The tentative steps ended a paralyzing debate within the administration over how hard to pursue gun-control legislation, which has been a politically perilous issue for many Democrats. There were signs Monday, however, that such fear was abating on the Democratic side of the aisle.
Democratic Sens. Harry M. Reid (Nev.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Mark R. Warner (Va.) made clear that Congress should consider a range of options to address the issue; all three have been strong supporters of gun rights. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) said she would introduce legislation that would reimpose the assault-rifle ban that lapsed in 2004.
This article was posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 11:12 am