WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama is making good on his pledge to politicize gun violence.
Obama’s gun control executive actions have pushed the contentious issue to the forefront of the 2016 presidential campaign, just as candidates start the sprint to the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses. While Republicans and Democrats are deeply divided on the matter, both parties see Obama’s actions as an opportunity to generate enthusiasm among primary voters.
But in a general election, the gun debate becomes a blurrier political proposition. Public opinion polls show Americans overwhelmingly support expanding background checks for gun purchases, but are more divided on the broader question of stricter gun laws. The gun control advocacy movement has gained wealthy backers, but the National Rifle Association remains one of the more dominant forces in American politics.