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“As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons,” [Attorney General Eric] Holder told reporters.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tossed cold water on the prospect of reinstating the assault weapons ban, highlighting Democrats’ reluctance to take on gun issues. “On that score, I think we need to enforce the laws we have right now,” [Speaker of the House Nancy] Pelosi said at her weekly news conference. “I think it’s clear the Bush administration didn’t do that.”
Democrats abdicate on gun control
By Mary Sneyd
May 26, 2009
Silence is the new Democratic strategy. The majority party has a big tent now. Its denizens are diverse, from coastal lefties to backwoods righties. Priority one is to protect the centrist and conservative freshmen from political harm back home; after all, there's an election next year. There's no appetite for doing anything that would put those Democrats in the crosshairs of the gun lobby.
That's why Obama's attorney general, Eric Holder, was basically told to zip his lip about any restoration of the assault-weapons ban. Three months ago, he came out for restoration; he had the wild and crazy idea that such a ban might help stanch the easy flow of assault weapons to the Mexican drug gangs who are wreaking havoc at the border. The NRA swung into action, and 65 House Democrats -- many from swing districts -- formally protested Holder's idea. Holder got the memo. By April, he was saying: "I respect the Second Amendment," and little more.