President Barack Obama said on Friday that he has asked his team to look for new ways to enforce existing regulations to keep guns away from criminals in the wake of the mass shooting in Oregon.
But Obama admitted he had little power to craft tougher gun laws given the political clout wielded by the National Rifle Association, and vowed to elevate discussion about the “political dynamic” he said was the main obstacle to preventing more gun deaths.
“The main thing I’m going to do is I’m going to talk about this on a regular basis,” Obama said at a news conference. “I will politicize it, because our inaction is a political decision that we are making.”
Obama started by mocking Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush who earlier on Friday had said “stuff happens” in the course of an answer to a question about gun violence.
“I don’t even think I have to react to that one,” Obama said.
Obama led a failed push for tougher gun laws in 2013 after a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
His administration also took a series of modest steps using executive actions, such as tweaks for the existing system for background checks. On Friday, he said would look for more measures.
“I’ve asked my team, as I have in the past, to scrub what kinds of authorities do we have to enforce the laws that we have in place more effectively to keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” he said.
But he said it would be up to voters to demand more significant changes from Congress, which he said was in the thrall of the National Rifle Association, a powerful gun lobby group.
“They have perfected what they do,” he said. “They don’t represent the majority of the American people, but they know how to stir up fear, they know how to stir up their base, they know how to raise money, they know how to scare politicians, they know how to organize campaigns.”
A spokesman for the group declined comment on Obama’s remarks.
Obama said people who want tougher gun laws would need to become “single-issue” voters to shake up both Republicans and Democrats in Congress.
“Even if they’re great on other stuff, for a couple of election cycles, you’ve got to vote against them, and let them know precisely why you’re voting against them,” Obama said.
(Reporting by Julia Edwards and Roberta Rampton; Additional reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Ken Wills)
‘I’m entitled’: Kayleigh McEnany defends her 11 mail-in votes while calling it ‘fraud’ for the masses
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday faced questions from Fox News about why she had voted by mail 11 times even though President Donald Trump has called absentee ballots a "scam."
McEnany was asked about her voting history after the Tampa Bay Times reported that she had used mail-in voting nearly a dozen times in recent years.
"So why is it OK for you to do it?" Fox News host Ed Henry asked McEnany. "I understand you are traveling, you're in a different city. But how can you really be assured that your votes were counted accurately but when other people do it, it's fraud."
American Airlines to cut 30% of management staff
American Airlines will cut 30 percent of its management and support staff in its latest belt-tightening move during the prolonged COVID-19 downturn, the company disclosed Thursday.
The big US carrier outlined a series of measures to reduce headcount throughout its operations in an email to staff that was released in a securities filing Thursday.
American currently has a team of 17,000 people in management and support, meaning the actions planned will cut about 5,100 jobs.
The move follows statements from United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and other carriers that have signaled deep job cuts due to sinking air travel demand from coronavirus shutdowns.
‘They want their civil war’: Far-right ‘boogaloo’ militants have embedded themselves in the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis
Young, white men dressed in Hawaiian-style print shirts and body armor, and carrying high-powered rifles have been a notable feature at state capitols, lending an edgy and even sometimes insurrectionary tone to gatherings of conservatives angered by restrictions on businesses and church gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.
Just as many states are reopening their economies — and taking the wind out of the conservative protests — the boogaloo movement found a new galvanizing cause: the protests in Minneapolis against the police killing of George Floyd.
A new iteration of the militia movement, boogaloo was born out of internet forums for gun enthusiasts that repurposed the 1984 movie Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo as a code for a second civil war, and then modified it into phrases like “big luau” to create an insular community for those in on the joke, with Hawaiian-style shirts functioning as an in-real-life identifier. Boogaloo gained currency as an internet meme over the summer of 2019, when it was adopted by white supremacists in the accelerationist tendency. In January, the movement made the leap from the internet to the streets when a group boogaloo-ers showed up at the Second Amendment rally in Richmond, Va.