Democrats who support stricter gun control have been reluctant to push measures like those Obama advocates, in part because the NRA’s fierce opposition to new rules after an assault weapons ban expired in 2004 has been cited as a factor in several moderate Democrats being voted out of office.
This time might be different. Citing polling data, Democrats contend there is a growing gulf between the NRA’s 4 million members and its leaders in Washington. Members generally support a ban on military-style assault weapons, said Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), a Vietnam War veteran and avid hunter who is spearheading the Democratic response on Capitol Hill.
Several congressional Democrats, as well as big-city mayors, quickly denounced the NRA proposal. New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I), co-chairman of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign, said LaPierre was offering “a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no place is safe.”