If the White House is planning to launch a second front in the gun control wars, would Vice President Joe Biden’s anti-gun op-ed have been dumped into the Houston Chronicle? When I woke to this twitter-announcement from ABC’s Rick Klein, I was expecting White House fanfare, speeches, pronouncements… Instead, all we are seeing is an op-ed in a Houston newspaper; not even in the New York Times or Washington Post.
Speaking of the Washington Post, Greg Sargent, who covers politics from an openly left-of-center viewpoint, wrote this today about the prospect for another gun control vote:
There’s no question that the defeat of Manchin-Toomey was a crushing one. But it needs to be restated that the gun control forces actually moved the ball significantly this year. There is now a bill — negotiated by “pro gun” Senators in both parties — that can be activated at a moment’s notice, one that has already won the support of a majority of the Senate. That is not nothing. And indeed, talks are currently underway among senators over how to tweak the legislation to win over holdouts that are still thought to be gettable.
All of that said, some caution is in order. If there is going to be any chance at eventual victory, it may well require a very long struggle, which will require gun reformers to show that they can sustain organization and energy for a protracted period. We’re seeing signs — in the form of groups launched by Mike Bloomberg and Gabrielle Giffords — that the gun reform side is genuinely in the process of building an infrastructure to match the NRA. But we don’t know what kind of staying power it will have or whether it will be able to exert pressure that actually matters to red state Dems (or for that matter bluish state Republicans such as Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who may be immune to pressure, because she is not playing to type as a New England moderate).
Sargent is as invested as anyone in gun control, but at least he is looking at the prospects for another Senate vote with a sense of reality. Moreover, that is just a vote in the Senate. Getting gun control through the House is a whole other battle.
The media’s gun control cycle has been fascinating to watch. After Sandy Hook and before the failure of Toomey-Manchin, the media was in a frenzy to win that vote. The loss shut them up for a while, but bitterness eventually surfaced and results were media-recriminations, most of them directed at those few Senators the media blamed for the loss.
Now that the media is apparently out of recriminations, they seem to be quieting up again. You can bet, though, that they’re just lying in wait for the next Sandy Hook to exploit.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC