Now Barack Obama is using the Newtown tragedy to call for more gun control, but since he has been president, prosecutions for breaking gun laws have diminished sharply. The number of weapons prosecutions has dropped 40 percent since the zenith reached under George W. Bush, which was 11,000.
One gun rights advocate remarked that Obama’s new tone was evidence of rank hypocrisy from the Obama Administration, saying: “If you are not going to enforce the laws on the books, then don’t start talking about a whole new wave of new laws.”
Democrats in Congress are using the tragedy to push again for an assault weapons ban, tighter rules for gun procurement, and the outlawing of clips that spring bullets into guns.
They may not succeed; the public tends to blame the person using the gun and not the gun itself.
The Obama Administration has apparently shifted from prosecuting weapons abuses to going after drug crimes. According to Syracuse University’s TRAC project:
There also has been a shifting emphasis towards drug-related investigations. Since ATF-referred prosecutions peaked in FY 2005, the number of weapons prosecutions actually has fallen by 32 percent, a much higher rate than for ATF prosecutions overall. Making up the difference has been the growing number of drug cases, up by 26 percent during the same period.
But gun rights advocates think Obama will now focus on making gun control a top issue; one said, “It’s in his DNA to push this issue. This would be his crowning achievement, if he can ban guns.”