White House Reporters Hardly Press Obama on Gun Control

The President just concluded a press conference in which he announced the formation of an inter-agency commission that will submit a gun control proposal to Congress in a matter of weeks.

But while he expected to discuss the political response to the Newtown tragedy, he was barraged with inquiries about the fiscal cliff.

This sparked something of an outrage on Twitter. Less than 140 character insults about the White House press corps came flying in left and right. The hashtag “#WHPressCorpsClownPosse” – started, I believe, by The Nation’s national security reporter Jeremy Scahill – elicited numerous results.

Fortunately for those who wanted him to address gun control, ABC News’ Jake Tapper asked the President why he hadn’t acted on the issue until now, solidifying his reputation for asking tough questions with a terse, probing “where have you been?”

Obama responded that he hasn’t “been on vacation,” with the fair retort that gun violence hadn’t been on the forefront of the country’s agenda until after the Newtown shooting.

That, more than anything, seems to be a testament to both the strength of the NRA and the gun vote coupled with the unwillingness of pro gun control Dems to try to force the issue. As Gawker pointed out, 5 out of 12 of the deadliest shootings in American history happened during Obama’s first term.

Samuel Knight

Samuel Knight is a freelance journalist living in DC and a former intern at the Washington Monthly.