Live Blogging the White House Press Conference

The White House has announced that Obama will inform the American people about his policy process for more gun control today in a press conference. Considering the way the announcement is worded, I expect that not only will he back specific demands in legislation for the next Congress, but he will pick which parts of Bloomberg’s plans to implement that don’t require any Congressional input.

I will live blog the press conference when it starts, so look to this post for updates.


While we wait on the White House (presumably they are running late since their own feed is just showing a blue screen), we do know that Joe Biden has been assigned the role of White House lead for the gun control efforts.

Okay, we’re watching the major networks get ready to do their openings, and some blonde flip her hair.

Obama: He says we don’t know why Newtown happened, but we know that Americans are killed by guns. It’s not just about mass killings, but we need more gun control. He’s happy to see nameless high profile people change longstanding positions on guns.

The fact that whatever he’s going to propose won’t likely stop violence doesn’t mean we shouldn’t restrict guns anyway.

Biden has a January deadline, and he’s going to take immediate action. Obama says he won’t wait at all, not wait on people to study the policies he’s going to enact.

He tapped Biden because he was a sponsor of the semi-auto ban. He says that a majority of Americans support gun control like gun bans, magazine bans, and ending private sales.

He calls on Congress to act quickly. He blames Congress for not appointing his ATF choices.

Obama says that he “is betting” that gun owners would be the first to say that we should ban semi-auto rifles. (Hint: Make clear to your Congressman that he is betting wrong.)

Obama is now talking about every person shot since Friday.

He focuses on using every power, so that’s likely to mean damn near every one of Bloomberg’s plan, but he hasn’t mentioned it specifically. Time will officially tell if that’s the blueprint he uses, but he’s making clear that he won’t allow time for debate over the proposals.

Obama says that we are obligated to help him pass his agenda. We aren’t courageous if we don’t agree with his plan.

Obama is taking questions before turning it over to Biden. The first question is actually asking him if he has betrayed voters by his actions in fiscal cliff negotiations.

After several minutes, Obama is still on the defense about his position on taxes and spending.

Wow. Second question is also on fiscal cliff & his actions in negotiations.

Third question – fiscal cliff agreement questions on whether he has any trust in Republicans anymore.

Fourth question – back to guns, but basically told that presidential commissions are pointless and ineffective. Obama says that he will reach out to “stakeholders” who he will not name, Biden will round up “cabinet members who are interested,” and come up with suggestions for actions that will be featured in the State of the Union.

The reporter asks about the NRA, and Obama says that mothers and fathers who are members of NRA need to do self-reflection and help him out. He claims that “a thoughtful approach” is needed, that responsible gun owners “may carry out their activities” – activities which he is refusing to define.

The final question is from Jake Tapper who says that Obama hasn’t been around on the gun issue even though he campaigned on it the first time. Obama swears he hasn’t been on vacation, but that this is a wake-up call. Obama says that healthcare is relevant to this debate, and that’s why he spent his time on it.

Of the yelled questions while Obama was leaving, the reporters were asking about Benghazi.

And, with that, the White House feed has turned the camera and mics off so we cannot hear what Joe Biden has to say.

I’m trying to see if other news outlets are carrying his statements. So far, every news outlet website I have surfed to has cut out and isn’t covering Biden, either.

Okay, so I’m hoping that C-SPAN recorded the Biden remarks and will include them with their video archive later on. By the time I thought to check their site, they had cut over to a Benghazi report issue. I don’t know if that’s because they didn’t carry Biden or if his remarks were just short with no questions from the press.

Okay, so Biden left the room with Obama based on C-SPAN’s camera angle. I guess he didn’t speak at all.

30 thoughts on “Live Blogging the White House Press Conference”

  1. I can’t imagine he’s willing to destroy his second term over this. Not surprising that he’s a worse gun banning bigot than we thought, but shocking that he’d be such a terrible politician to come out so strongly and burn all his political capital prior to the start of his 2nd Term.

    1. I said back during his first term that he would up the ante on his Marxism if he got re-elected. It is now looking like I was right. I can still recall from four years ago quite a few dopes out there saying that he would govern from the center. Forcing us to buy overinflated health insurance policies, and prohibiting us from buying one type of gun versus another, both of which figuratively equate to defecating all over our constitutional rights as far as I am concerned, is not my idea of governing from the center.

    2. He’s indeed no longer leading from behind (to the extent he leads at all, but the successful results speak for themselves).

      I doubt he cares about the capital he’s burning: for the next two years, I see him as trying to do everything he can to stick it to the Republican—and if the House caves on this he’ll score a big win—, to protect his gains from his first term, and to give the regulators an open field.

      It’s the latter that’s in jeopardy if he loses the Senate in 2014 … assuming the filibuster still lives by then. Reid, I expect, wants to be Majority Leader in 2015-6 and I suspect he’s less sanguine, but for Obama, the more the Republicans control the Congress the more he can blame things on them.

  2. I can live with gun control, and banning semi-autos.

    As long as it applies to the Police as well.

    Any gun control needs to apply to all non-military, civilian citizens.

    Or we live in a police state.

    1. One idle fantasy I had recently was of every time a politician or the like calls for gun control, he’s magically stripped of all of his and his guard’s guns.

      1. I’ve had surreal debates in the past few days.

        Why does the local mayor/celebs get armed guards but you and I shouldn’t be allowed to carry? It’s always “they have high profile jobs/are exposed/in the limelight/are public faces” etc “So they are more important then you or I?” “No! Just more known!”

        It’s a subtle nod to lords and peasants of certain medieval periods …

        It’s peace time! Only a lord and noble guards can carry a sword. I suspect that the argument can be made that it’s no longer peace time when nobles must have armed guards…

      2. One idle fantasy I had recently was that the economy has actually improved, and that the recession ended.

  3. Thanks for watching for us. You must have a Stronger Stomach than the rest of us.

  4. I have to admit that this whole episode has me thinking about selling all of my semi-auto stuff while I still can and getting into bolt-action rifles and revolvers. I actually think they’re more fun to shoot anyway, and I’d almost rather get killed in a robbery than have to defend myself in court when the .gov tries to prosecute me simply for defending myself.

    1. You could do worse than buy an M1 Garand if you don’t have one already. Easy to re-barrel in .308 if you’re concerned about compatible ammo availability.

    2. Your bolt action and revolver “solution” will be next. Look at the UK and attacks on knives now that guns are basically banned.

      No compromise with these aspiring despots and tyrants-in-training.

    3. I don’t own an AR, and while I have no use for one, the people that want to ban AR’s would gladly deprive me of the Airweight in my pocket and my scoped bolt action “sniper rifles”

      I want every man and women who served in our recent wars to be able to have the comfort of owning the same type of firearm they served with. We need to phrase this argument as supporting our younger vets.

      Time to get off the web and on the phone to our reps. We also need to open up our wallets to 2A groups.

    4. You mean your sniper rifle and semi auto pistol?

      Revolvers are being defined as semi-auto because one trigger pull results in one firing, but they carry multiple rounds.

      1. There’s often confusion between semi-auto and autoloading/selfloading. An autoloader isn’t necessarily automatic firing. Just the word ‘automatic’ has negative connotations, so even them correctly saying semi-automatic can be just as bad to the uninformed.

  5. Man, I wish I hadn’t been redistricted out of Lance’s district. My Senators won’t care, and neither will Frank Pallone. I’ll try Lance’s door anyway.

    1. Yes! Do it. Send letters to your officials, too. I know it won’t do any good, but do it. Definitely contact people who might be swayed in your state. Remind them that law-abiding gun owners are throughout the state. And even say that even if you’re not a direct constituent, you’ll stand with him by helping out in his district since it is nearby.

  6. On NPR the analyst from Politico noted that Obama explicitly said this would be a rushed process, that it wouldn’t be a 6 month commission with a report that will be shelved. He pointed out that Obama hasn’t run on gun control since Illinois to any degree and has walked back comments from then.

    The All Things Considered host (whose name I know) brought up that he did run on climate change but failed to exploit Hurricane Sandy, pissing off his base.

    With Bengazi and the fiscal cliff not going away, the economy still in the doldrums and the press actually kinda noticing in a not positive way for Obama, I wonder if this is the hill he’s choosing to die on.

    He’s been playing defense for a while, he needs something to hand his base. I still think we need to make his commission fully own every proposal they come up with.

    He’s already on record admitting gun control won’t work absolutely, we need to hammer home just how much he’s asking the law-abiding to sacrifice for that non-accomplishment.

    1. Yes, sorry if I wasn’t clear about that theme. Obama made very clear that the purpose of this task force is to swiftly act in order to give him content for his SOTU speech, and there will be no debate or study conducted on anything Biden proposes. This, obviously, differs from what he will call on Congress to do since he cannot enforce the no study rule on them. That’s why Bloomberg’s plan is probably the best resource we have to get any insight into how he’s going to screw us before any votes make it to the Senate or House floors.

      1. Ah, that makes sense.

        Still, we need to not let them get away with generic “these are common-sense measures.” Put the details out and hammer them, the parts that are too restrictive will fire up our side and the parts that are lip-service will enrage theirs.

        The undecided middle probably won’t react too well to being handed a “let’s spend money to “do something” and impact your neighbors and yourselves in the bargain” if it can’t show a real benefit.

        It’d be great to have HuffPo and the lefty blogosphere up in arms after the SOTUA that he isn’t pushing climate change after Sandy, and that his post-Sandy Hook proposals “don’t go far enough”, being subject to funding control by the House and/or removal by the next President.

        Let them publically eat their own young and watch middle America recoil like they did at Occupy.

        1. The undecided middle probably won’t react too well to being handed a “let’s spend money to “do something” and impact your neighbors and yourselves in the bargain” if it can’t show a real benefit.

          I wouldn’t bet on that. Many will be happy to check the box at “did something” and move on, because either a) That was CT, not $MY_STATE or b) Not a gun owner, don’t care

    2. I fully expect an Obamacare-style “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it” AWB bill to be introduced at the first opportunity after the new Congress is seated, with a full-court press to pass it overnight.

      A new AWB has been on his agenda since 2008, but it hasn’t been even remotely possible for one to actually be passed up until now. But in order for him to get it, it will have to be introduced and voted on while the emotions are still fresh, and I’m certain he will try and get it rammed through Congress before the NRA has a chance to react and get the word out. The new congresscritters, especially, will have this coming at them cold, with little to no preparation (unless they’re known to be on the “right” side, of course), and with effectively no time to recieve or parse feedback from their constituents.

      I wish the horror behind this had never happened, but, as callous as it sounds, I’m glad for the timing. If it had happened even 3 weeks later, he would be signing a draconian AWB by now. By happening when it did, there are 2-3 weeks where he can’t push it through Congress, 2-3 weeks for people to at least start listening to reason over emotion, and 2-3 weeks for us to remind our congresscritters that their careers depend on how they vote on the issue.

      Better never than now, but better now than next month.

  7. My fear is that the Republicans will cave knowing that they’ll get the Senate and the Whitehouse in 2016 if Obama signs a new AWB. Are we going to vote for the side that forced this on us, or the side that let it happen with mild objections?

    It feels like Boehner positioned himself behind me on the street corner and he keeps glancing down the road waiting for the bus to come.

    1. My fear is that the Republicans will cave knowing that they’ll get the Senate and the Whitehouse in 2016 if Obama signs a new AWB.

      I think this will work far worse than the nominations of McCain and Romney. Nothing will pass without the leadership’s approval, and then the Republicans will own the new AWB as much as Obama et. al., seeing as how we put and kept them in power in the House to prevent such atrocities.

      Your latter question is answered by McCain and Romney’s fates: enough of the conservative base stayed home in each case to deny them victory, compared to Bush. Even when Obama’s base declined as well in 2012.

      Of course, this is the Stupid Party we’re talking about. But if Boehner waves this through it’s going to be very difficult to stop myself from using every legal means at hand to send him and the rest of the party home to spend more time with their families and replace them with a new party. Unless of course he and his gang get overthrown this January or in the next leadership election in the caucus (we have enough grounds to do it now due to his preemptive purging of conservatives from leadership and committee positions), or other scenarios like the one I mentioned where it’s the Democrats who go the way of the Whigs when the free ice cream runs out and they can’t keep their promises, and they get replaced by the Republicans as the Party of the State.

  8. If someone drove their car into a crowd and killed 30 people, would they call for a ban on car sales??? They need to look at bthe real problem.

  9. Honestly I’m kind of glad Romney lost. The antis clearly had this ready to go. It was primed for a tragedy and they jumped.

    With Romney I think there’d be enormous pressure for some sort of compromise. It’d likely be less onerous but something getting through seems pretty likely. It would be hard for the House to buck a Republican president’s plan.

    With Obama, the House can continue to resist anything and everything he puts forth. The stakes are higher as the ultimate proposals will be heinous for gun owners but the chance of outright refusal to cooperate is better.

Comments are closed.