Does Obama's Gun Control Plan Have a Chance?
Mr. Obama on Wednesday sought to counter NRA pressure on lawmakers by warning that "there will be pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists publicly warning of a tyrannical, all-out assault on liberty -- not because that's true, but because they want to gin up fear or higher ratings or revenue for themselves." He said his plan would fail unless the American people "demand" action from lawmakers, and noted that Ronald Reagan backed an assault weapons ban.
But that appeal won't change the minds of most lawmakers, some of whom (including Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.) are already pointing out that an assault weapons ban would not have impacted the weapon used in the Newtown tragedy. (A ban on high-capacity magazines would have made the 30-round magazines that police say were used in the shooting illegal, however, and assault weapons were used in other recent mass shootings.)
Indications out of Congress are that the assault weapons ban faces the longest odds; a ban on high capacity magazines seems to have a slightly better chance at passage, particularly if combined with the improved mental health screenings being pushed by many Republicans. The best odds appear to be for passage of a requirement for universal background checks, which a new CBS News/New York Times survey found is supported by 92 percent of Americans, including 85 percent of NRA households.
But the battle will be fierce: During Mr. Obama's gun control event on Wednesday, Twitter lit up with calls for the president to be impeached. That response follows a statement two days earlier from Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, who threatened to file articles of impeachment if the president tries to circumvent Congress on gun control.
Dennis Ross, the Republican congressman from Florida, seemed to sum up the prevailing attitude within his caucus before leaving for the GOP retreat on Wednesday.
"I think there's an appetite for a discussion, but I doubt there will be much in terms of changes," he told CBS News.
CBS News' Jill Jackson contributed to this report.