If anyone had doubts that President Obama would have the political courage to propose a genuinely strong package of gun control measures in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings — and, frankly, we did — he laid them to rest Wednesday. His proposals would fulfill the fondest wishes of anti-gun activists and organizations that have been advocating for decades for many of the same policies.
Now the only problem is getting Obama's common-sense proposals past Congress — which is a bit like saying that the only thing preventing this pig from flying is getting it to grow wings.
The president announced 23 actions his administration will perform without congressional help, most of which are cosmetic. He will, for example, launch a national campaign promoting responsible gun ownership and provide incentives for a relative handful of schools to hire specially trained police officers. Some of Obama's other actions will be more effective than that, notably his order to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct research on the causes and prevention of gun violence. The CDC has been reluctant to study the impact of guns for years because of a congressional prohibition on using funds to "advocate or promote gun control."