A Second Exchange
As a point of rhetoric, it's interesting that CNN set this up the way they did. They could have chosen another crime victim who would have been less sympathetic, which would give the President an easier out. Instead, they put him in the position of having to affirm her right to keep and bear arms, and to clarify that he does not intend to do anything that would make it harder for her to own a firearm.
That may or may not be true -- it may simply be that he has no capacity at the moment to do anything that would make it harder for her to own a firearm, but that he would be happy to create the "Australia style" rules he has referred to several times as his ideal if he only had the power. That seems likely to me. Still, it is an interesting moment. Imagine how it must sound to a gun-banning progressive: do they see it as merely useful rhetoric to get the camel's nose under the tent, or are they appalled to see him surrender the basic concept that firearms in the hands of citizens are a basic right that is justified by the need to defend against things like criminal violence?
UPDATE: Meanwhile, in California, a whole new list of handguns are now illegal... but that's not the President's proposal.
UPDATE: Congress may be sending him a test for this. Why shouldn't DC recognize the concealed carry permits of the states, if as he says he's not opposed to law-abiding citizens like her using firearms for the purpose of protecting themselves and their families?
UPDATE: Commentary's Noah Rothman says that this exchange, taken together with the Clinton email, the terrorist attack in Philly, and another plotted by refugees just arrested, makes it a very bad day for the narrative.
By Grim on Friday, January 08, 2016