Someone tell Dianne Feinstein: For all the Democrats’ talk about passing another assault-weapons ban, that now appears unlikely to happen.
According to the New York Times, the administration’s prospects of pushing an assault-weapons ban through Congress are slim and, as a result, the White House “is focusing on other measures it deems more politically achievable.” The story suggests that the White House doesn’t want to spend political capital on “a losing cause at the expense of other measures with more chances of success.” Though the administration will recommend the passage of such a ban, it’ll be a hollow recommendation. The White House is already defining success downward, “emphasizing other new gun rules that could conceivably win bipartisan support and reduce gun deaths,” which would include universal background checks and research into the causes of gun violence.
Now, the White House is in full damage-control mode, telling the Washington Post that “the report is false.” According to a White House spokesman, “the president has been clear that Congress should reinstate the assault-weapons ban and that avoiding this issue just because it’s been politically difficult in the past is not an option.”
That statement seems consistent with the Times’ reporting, which indicates that, whatever the exhaustive research produced by Sheriff Joe’s task force, the president will recommend an assault-weapons ban with empty words.