1- Democrats may stand in Obama's way on gun measures
WASHINGTON — As the Senate prepares to begin debating new gun control measures, some of President Barack Obama's fellow Democrats are poised to frustrate his efforts to enact the most sweeping limits on weapons in decades.
These Democrats from largely rural states with strong gun cultures view Obama's proposals warily and have not committed to supporting them. The lawmakers' concerns could stand in the way of strong legislation before a single Republican gets a chance to vote "no."
"There's a core group of Democratic senators, most but not all from the West, who represent states with a higher-than-average rate of gun ownership but an equally strong desire to feel their kids are safe," said Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. "They're having hard but good conversations with people back home to identify the middle-ground solutions that respect the Second Amendment but make it harder for dangerous people to get their hands on guns."
All eyes are on these dozen or so Democrats, some of whom face re-election in 2014. That includes Sens. Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.
The Senate Judiciary Committee begins hearings Wednesday.
Well that's good to hear
2- Obama: Gun-control advocates have to listen more
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says gun-control advocates have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes in the debate over firearms in America.
In an interview with The New Republic, Obama says he has "a profound respect" for the tradition of hunting that dates back for generations.
"And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake. Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas," he says.
Obama has called for a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and is pushing other policies following the mass shooting last month at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. In response, gun-rights advocates have accused Obama and others of ignoring the Second Amendment rights of Americans.
The president says it's understandable that people are protective of their family traditions when it comes to hunting.
"So it's trying to bridge those gaps that I think is going to be part of the biggest task over the next several months. And that means that advocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes," he says.
Has Obama himself ever fired a gun?
"Yes," the president says, "in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time."
His daughters don't shoot skeet at the presidential retreat in Maryland, he adds, "but oftentimes guests of mine go up there."
The interview appears in the Feb. 11 issue of The New Republic.
All I can say is impeach