Well, now, it's not exactly true that a president can't do something without the people behind him, is it? After all, the overwhelming majority of people who voted for the president wanted him to protect Social Security and Medicare and he's since done such a rapid pivot from his campaign speeches, I'm surprised his head didn't fly off! What he's done is devote himself to changing public opinion by every possible means -- which is what leaders are supposed to do, except in this case, for the wrong thing. But obviously, it can be done!
President Obama called the Dec. 14th shooting in Newtown, Connecticut “the worst day of my presidency,” and said during a rare interview on Meet The Press, that he will propose a package of reforms that will likely include new regulations on assault-rifles and high-capacity ammunition clips, and enhanced background checks for gun purchases. A commission headed by Vice President Joe Biden is currently drafting gun safety recommendations.
But Obama stressed that reform cannot happen without broad public support, suggesting that he will rally public opinion for sensible gun safety regulations or drop the effort if Americans are not on board.
Why? He didn't do that with the chained CPI, no matter how many polls showed people didn't want Social Security cuts. Instead, he's the Little Engine That Could. Toot, toot!
“We’re not going to get this done unless the American people decide it’s important and so this is not going to be a matter of me spending political capital. One of the things that you learn having now been in this office for four years. The old adage of Abraham Lincoln’s, ‘with public opinion there is nothing you can’t do and without public opinion there is very little you can get done in this town.’”
Obama also rejected the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) call for more guns in schools, arguing that “the vast majority of the American people are skeptical that that somehow is going to solve our problem.” He promised to listen to all sides of the gun debate before making any legislative recommendations.
“It is not enough for us to say, ‘This is too hard so we’re not going to try,’” Obama said. “So what I intend to do is I will call all the stakeholders together. I will meet with Republicans. I will meet with Democrats. I will talk to anybody. I think there are a vast majority of responsible gun owners out there who recognize that we can’t have a situation in which somebody with severe psychological problems is able to get the kind of high capacity weapons that this individual in Newtown obtained and gun down our kids. And, yes, it’s going to be hard.”