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Il Giornale, Italy

Obama: Listen More to Those
Who Defend Weapons

By Orlando Sacchelli

Translated By Linda Merlo

27 January 2013

Edited by Natalie Clager


Italy - Il Giornale - Original Article (Italian)

It’s not a step backwards, but it's close enough. Barack Obama is offering an olive branch to the gun lobby. He's doing it to avoid confrontation with congressional Republicans over the debt. It seems it was Bill Clinton who advised him to take this softer approach. “Up at Camp David we do skeet shooting all the time,” Obama says. “I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations,” the President said in an interview with “The New Republic.” And Obama's sending a message to those who are urging more gun control: “I think those who dismiss that [the history of gun culture] out of hand make a big mistake.”

“The Second Amendment is important and we respect the rights of responsible gun owners,” said Obama, pointing out that to move forward in the debate on weapons you need to “understand that the reality of weapons in urban areas is very different from that in rural areas. If your father introduces you to shotguns while you're growing up, and you spend the day hunting with your family, it becomes a tradition you want to protect. And I think bridging that gap is part of the task that we have to face in the coming months. And that means that advocates of gun controls have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes.” Will the partial turnaround be enough to appease the gun lobby's anger, which the 23 executive orders which Obama signed and sent down in the emotional wake of the Newtown massacre did not quell? And will the olive branch soften Republicans, inducing more moderate concessions in Congress - to the point where they agree to raise the debt ceiling to avoid default once and for all? We'll find out in the coming months.



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