Jansing and Co | February 08, 2013
>>> california lawmakers say they want gun control laws in their state to be the toughest in the nation. democrats in the state legislature have introduced ten new proposals, including banning future sales of semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines and requiring background checks for not only purchasing guns but for ammunition sales as well. after years of setbacks, gun control advocates are more optimistic than ever about getting ledge slas passed. why? well, they've got a whole new strategy. joining me is national political reporter for "the atlantic," molly ball. molly, good morning.
>> good morning.
>> you wrote, a frequent question in the battle over gun control is why anyone should expect remember form to exceed now when it's failed repeatedly for the last 20 years. maybe this is why. between then and now, advocates for gun control got smarter. how?
>> well, if you listen to the way people talk about gun control , proponents talk about it. listen to the way the president talks about it. he doesn't use the word gun control at all. he uses gun violence prevention. there's this idea when you talk about controlling guns, that sets off the minds in conservative voters. democrats were getting beat up. it's a cultural values issue for people in rural and middle america . and they had to find a new way to talk about it that didn't involve taking people 's guns away, that didn't involve repealing or changing the meaning of the second amendment, that didn't involve banning handguns nationwide. but these are all things that were the stated policy goals of the gun control movement. there's been a change in the rhetoric.
>> i remember it so well because i spent a couple of weeks after the columbine. you had all of these groups and they had different ideas about what ought to be done. some obviously much more progressive than others.
>> that's absolutely right. nothing did get done after columbine except at the state level. there was no legislation passed although president clinton introduced a package of gun control proposals. if you look back at the coverage of those proposals that president clinton introduced, a lot of the coverage involved this infighting that you're talking about. gun control groups, far left saying, we don't like these packages from the democratic president because they don't go far enough. they are not banning handguns. they are not taking people 's guns away. anything he's going to do, such as closing the gun control loophole, doesn't go far enough to satisfy us. and that kind of hinfighting helped keep the assault weapons ban from being removed in 2004 . it was really an impediment to progress for the movement.
>> people on that site moderating their rhetoric and getting more unified about exactly what they think they can try to get done. it's not like the nra is backing off. if anything, they and their supporters have gone further to the right, haven't they?
>> people may have seen the commercial that aired during the super bowl by mayors against illegal guns , mike bloomberg 's group, that showed that group of wayne lapierre of the nra support of background checks in 1999 . because the debate was so much further to the left back then, the nra was under pressure just seemed to be moderate and support some forms of gun control , such as background checks . there's a report from that time that wayne lapierre threatened to quit the nra if they didn't support some kind of control such as background checks . that's helped them win more elections in red states and people like harry reid get elected in nevada, a pretty pro-gun state. the question is, is that going to be productive for people who want to see gun control get passed? will this mean an increased prag ma tichl, mean that the issue has a better chance of getting through?
>> and what's the answer to that question? do we know?
>> i don't have a crystal ball , but if you talk to people who support gun control , they have been beaten down for a long time, losing consistently for 20 years will do that to you. and they feel better than they ever have. there is, as you know, a lot of momentum behind this issue. a democratic president who has the bully pulpit who is using this on his agenda and now we have even some republicans coming to the table and signaling that there may be some kind of bipartisan action that can get through congress on gun control . that would be the first time since the brady bill in 1993 , if that happens.
>> molly ball from "the atlantic," thank you very much.
>>> first lady michelle obama will go to chicago for the funeral of the 15-year-old honor student who, just days after performing at the president's inauguration, was shot in a park when the gunman opened fire on a group of young people . hideya pendleton's killer has not been arrested but there's a $40,000 reward out. arnie duncan and valerie jarrett will also attend that funeral. you