In the wake of the Aurora shootings, President Obama yesterday went further into the issue of gun control than he ever has, Politico reports. Speaking in New Orleans, Obama promised there would be a national conversation on the issue. Specifically, he declared support for background checks on gun buyers and better enforcement of gun laws, and said that "AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers," not criminals—which could imply future support for an assault-weapons ban similar to one that expired in 2004, the Washington Post notes.
The move is somewhat unexpected, since just this week White House press secretary Jay Carney implied Obama would not wade into the issue of new gun legislation, thanks in part to Congressional opposition. But yesterday, Obama said gun reform has too often been “defeated by politics and by lobbying and eventually by the pull of our collective attention elsewhere.” Also yesterday, Mitt Romney reiterated his position that stricter gun laws would not have made a difference in Aurora. “A lot of what this young man did was clearly against the law, but the fact that it was against the law did not prevent it from happening,” Romney told NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams.