President Obama's gun-control announcement came at noon Wednesday at a White House event. Reporters Peter Baker and Michael Shear heralded the development in Thursday's lead story, "Obama to 'Put Everything I've Got' Into Gun Control – Will Rally Public – Executive Steps Are Ordered."
Four days before taking the oath of office, President Obama on Wednesday staked the beginning of his second term on an uphill quest to pass the broadest gun control legislation in a generation.
In the aftermath of the Connecticut school massacre, Mr. Obama vowed to rally public opinion to press a reluctant Congress to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, expand background checks, and toughen gun-trafficking laws. Recognizing that the legislative fight could be long and difficult, the president also took immediate steps by issuing a series of executive actions intended to reduce gun violence.
Michael Shear devoted a sidebar to controversy over an ad from the National Rifle Association that's giving liberal commentators conniptions: "White House Denounces Web Video By N.R.A."
The National Rifle Association provoked a furious response from the White House on Wednesday by releasing a video accusing President Obama of being an “elitist” and a “hypocrite” because he opposes posting armed guards at schools, while his daughters have Secret Service protection.
The video also prompted commentary on social media about whether the gun rights organization might have been too strident, even for its own members.
The White House lashed out at the N.R.A. even as Mr. Obama stood with young children to unveil broad proposals to create tougher gun laws and use the power of the presidency to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
“Most Americans agree that a president’s children should not be used as pawns in a political fight,” said Jay Carney, the White House press secretary. “But to go so far as to make the safety of the president’s children the subject of an attack ad is repugnant and cowardly.”
The video, posted at a Web site called N.R.A. Stand and Fight, starts by asking, “Are the president’s kids more important than yours?” The video does not show Mr. Obama’s daughters, Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11, but it suggests that Mr. Obama holds their safety to a different standard than he is willing to offer for other children.
Wednesday's lead story Michael Cooper, Michael Luo, and Michael Shear previewed the president's proposals offering no criticism from the pro-gun rights side, and also overstated Obama's call for banning high-capacity magazines.
A new federal assault weapons ban and background checks of all gun buyers, which President Obama is expected to propose on Wednesday, might have done little to prevent the massacre in Newtown, Conn., last month. The semiautomatic rifle that Adam Lanza used to shoot 20 schoolchildren and 6 adults complied with Connecticut’s assault weapons ban, the police said, and he did not buy the gun himself.
But another proposal that Mr. Obama is expected to make could well have slowed Mr. Lanza’s rampage: banning high-capacity magazines, like the 30-round magazines that the police said Mr. Lanza used, which have been factors in several other recent mass shootings.
Tom Maguire doesn't think that would have slowed the rampage: "Left unmentioned by the Times -- Adam Lanza had two semiautomatic pistols with him as well as the SA rifle."