Right wing reacts badly to Obama's gun proposals

To the surprise of no one, conservative responses to Obama's gun proposals have ranged from skeptical to vitriolic

Published January 16, 2013 9:13PM (EST)

The right wing has offered a range of reactions to President Obama's unveiling of a broad gun control plan -- including signing 23 executive orders -- and unsurprisingly, they were unenthusiastic at best.

Speaking on Mike Huckabee's radio show, NRA president David Keene accused President Obama of "using our children to pursue an ideological anti-gun agenda," arguing to guest host J.D. Hayworth that some of the proposals are just a "fig leaf to cover his real agenda, which is to go after guns."

"Make no mistake about it: Overall, this is an anti-gun agenda pushed by an administration that is a committed anti-gun administration," Keene said.

Earlier Wednesday, the NRA's executive vice-president called opposition to the proposals the "fight of the century," adding: “It’s not about protecting your children. It’s not about stopping crime. It’s about banning your guns … PERIOD!”

Other conservative lawmakers argued that Obama's proposals would not have stopped the Sandy Hook shootings.

“Nothing the President is proposing would have stopped the massacre at Sandy Hook," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said in a statement. "President Obama is targeting the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens instead of seriously addressing the real underlying causes of such violence."

"The Vice President's committee was appointed in response to the tragedy at Newtown, but very few of his recommendations have anything to do with what happened there," said Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas., in a statement.

And, of course, conservatives on Twitter were either dismissive or vitriolic:

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As the Washington Post reports, John Boehner has been cagey so far on whether he supports the president's proposals:

Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), said Tuesday that House committees of jurisdiction will review the president’s recommendations. “And if the Senate passes a bill, we will also take a look at that,” Steel said.

But some Republicans have vowed to take action to block White House efforts, including impeachment. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., was asked a question about Texas Rep. Steve Stockman’s threat to file articles of impeachment in an interview with the Shark Tank. “All options should be on the table,” Radel replied, the Daily Caller reports.

At the state level, a number of Republicans are pushing bills that would prohibit federal gun laws from being enforced in the state. Republican legislators in Texas, Wyoming and Utah are mulling this type of legislation, in some cases considering making it a felony to enforce federal gun laws. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, R, wrote to his lieutenant governor and the state's House speaker asking for legislation to make any "unconstitutional order" on gun policy "illegal to enforce in Mississippi by state and local law enforcement."

And conservative gadfly Larry Klayman, through his right-wing legal group FreedomWatch, filed a lawsuit this week over what he argues were illegal meetings between Joe Biden's gun violence task force and lobbyists: “President Obama and Vice President Biden have thumbed their nose at the law and instead been holding closed door meetings with special interest lobbyists on both sides of the issue,” Klayman said in a statement, the Hill reports. “The American people, whose rights to gun ownership stem from colonial times and are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, are being illegally shut out of the process.”

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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Barack Obama Editor's Picks Gun Control Gun Violence Newtown School Shooting Rick Perry