Political Animal


December 19, 2012 12:48 PM White House Reporters Hardly Press Obama on Gun Control

By Samuel Knight

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


  • c u n d gulag on December 19, 2012 1:36 PM:

    GOP POV:

    "As Gawker pointed out, 5 out of 12 of the deadliest shootings in American history have during Obama’s first term."


    It's all Obama's fault!

    That KenyanSocialistFascistCommunistAtheistMuslim Ni... USURPER, made us buy up all of those guns and ammo to prtotect ourselves from him!
    Oh, if only ACORN had let the people vote for McCain and Romney, none of this would have happened!

    Beside, Connecticut's a Liberal state, and those kids probably would have grown up and voted for Obama's fifth term in 2024.

  • Gandalf on December 19, 2012 1:46 PM:

    I'M trying hard to understand the point of this article. Is it Obama's fault that there hasn't been a big push on some sort of gun control or that political reporters are a crew of feckless assholes( which is readily apparent to anyone with an IQ above 50)?

  • SYSPROG on December 19, 2012 2:00 PM:

    And WhereTF was the MEDIA on gun control? WAITING? Trying to see what the President would do? Give me a break.

  • T2 on December 19, 2012 2:11 PM:

    Isn't Congress the Branch of government that's suppose to make laws? The Executive Branch enforces them.
    Congress, not the president, is also supposed to write the budgets and manage the national economy and deal with the national debt.

  • Dredd on December 19, 2012 3:17 PM:

    "For one, the President has just proposed to cut Social Security, and deserves to held to account."


    But when will we wake up to see that accountability went away when the plutocracy came in?

  • RimKitty on December 19, 2012 3:31 PM:

    Wait a minute...."5 out of 12 of the deadliest shootings" sounds like Obama is responsible. Maybe he is in a way. Being black, while president, was probably it. Scared so many Americans that they've had a run on the gun stores stocking up for the coming apocalypse.

  • LAC on December 19, 2012 3:53 PM:

    And for the record, Jake Tapper and Chuck Todd are gold-plated, self-promoting assholes. Neither one of them should be in the washington press corps.

  • James Conner on December 19, 2012 4:59 PM:

    Obama's ambushing of Social Security is the biggest story out there, and reporters should be chasing it, not hearses.

  • SadOldVet on December 19, 2012 5:08 PM:

    For this rare occasion, I will take The Obomination's side.

    Critical mass of public attention may have been reached with this mass killing. It was never reached by any of the prior mass killings, including those that have occured during Obama's tenure.

  • Lynn Dee on December 20, 2012 12:39 AM:

    I thought Jake Tapper's question was smug, smarmy and self-promoting. Yeah yeah, he's a W.H. correspondent, so he can't be expected to report on gun violence if it's not pressed into his hot little hand by the President or Jay Carney or some other W.H. spokesperson.

    OTOH, did he ever bring the subject up? Or did he just wait until Newtown and the public reponse?

  • Ian Morris on December 20, 2012 10:58 AM:

    When did terse and probing become synonyms for smug and self-important?

    Also, regarding the supposed Social Security calamity, I wasn't expecting to like the movie Lincoln, but it was instructive of a time when those who should have been supportive of an imperfect, but powerful, instrument of positive change felt free to disrespect, to heap personal abuse and invective on the president, in order to? . . . I don't know burnish their own egos.