President Obama has indicated that he won’t stick his neck out to push for gun control, but instead will let public opinion drive the debate.
In an interview with David Gregory on “Meet the Press,” Obama said he would await the recommendations of his gun control task force and present a package of gun control proposals. But he said, “We’re not going to get this done unless the American people decide it’s important and so this is not something that’s going to be a matter of me spending political capital.”
He continued, “One of the things that you learn, having now been in this office four years, is the old adage of Abraham Lincoln’s that with public opinion there’s nothing you can’t do, and without public opinion, there’s very little you can get done in this town.”
It was telling that when asked about his priorities, Obama didn’t mention gun control. He named immigration as his top priority, followed by more infrastructure spending and environmentally-friendly energy policies. Gregory is the one who brought up gun control.
This is an indication that Obama is afraid of over-extending himself on the issue. Though there has been a spike in support for some gun control measures in the wake of the Newtown shooting, it’s unclear where public opinion will be as more time passes.