President Barack Obama formally initiated his gun control push with a policy speech on Jan. 16 and then reiterated his support for the proposed so-called 'assault weapons" (semi-automatic firearms) ban, magazine capacity limits and universal background checks during his Jan. 21 inaugural address.
But during Tuesday night's State of the Union speech, Obama used emotion -- and the presence in the House chamber of 40 gun violence survivors and family members -- to demand that Congress votes on a raft of gun control proposals introduced since the Newtown school massacre.
The ploy -- which looked like Political Theater 101 -- didn't go unnoticed by Second Amendment advocates.
"President Obama has been claiming to want a balanced approach to solving the nation's gun violence problem," Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Chairman Alan Gottlieb said in a post-speech press release. "If that was true, he would have invited people who have defended themselves with firearms to be in the audience tonight as well. When the president uses words like 'balance,' 'safety' and 'common sense,' it's just a charade."
According to the Gun Owners of America, an estimated 2.5 million people a year use a firearm in self-defense. Yet, these crime victims are, apparently, being ignored by the Administration as the gun control debate unfolds.
Gottlieb said Obama's impassioned focus on gun control serves him well since his economic policies "are clearly in trouble." He noted a recent Quinnipiac University poll shows only 15 percent of Americans consider the nation's gun policies to be a top priority while the vast majority consider the economy to be the nation's pivotal issue.
Obama is "using tonight's State of the Union address to grandstand for gun control while it is clear to a majority of Americans that the stagnating economy is far more important," Gottlieb said. "Banning guns is a priority for the president but not the people."