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Obama agenda: Gun push

Waiting on specifics… “While pressure from the public and some gun-control advocates mounts in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, the White House hasn't laid out any specifics on how President Obama plans to tackle the scourge of gun violence that he declared has become far too routine,” USA Today writes.

“Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management announced early this morning that it plans to sell Freedom Group, a firearms conglomerate that produced the .223 Bushmaster rifle used in last week's elementary school massacre,” Fortune reports.

Pro-gun Democratic senators are speaking out. Incoming Democratic senators in red states -- Heidi Heitkamp (ND) and Joe Donnelly (IN) – say they’re open to possible changes in gun laws.

And Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA): "I've been a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights. I've got an A rating from the NRA. But the status quo isn't acceptable. I've got three daughters. They asked me on Friday evening, 'Dad, what are you gonna do about this?' There's got to be a way to put reasonable restrictions, particularly as we look at assault weapons, as we look at these fast clips of ammunition."

Charlie Cook: “Although it’s easy for liberals on cable shows to predict that the mass killing in Newtown will lead to a dramatic tightening of gun laws, the simple arithmetic of the House and Senate suggests that action will be very difficult. According to Cook Political Report House Editor David Wasserman, only 15 of the 234 Republicans who were elected to the House last month are in districts also carried by President Obama, presumably the more-liberal districts and more likely to be open to tighter gun laws; 219 House Republicans represent districts won by Mitt Romney, one more than the 218 majority. Nine of the 201 districts in which Democrats were elected to the House voted for the GOP nominee. With 94 percent of House Republicans sitting in Romney districts and 96 percent of Democrats in districts won by Obama, it’s clear that the House is pretty much sorted out on the issue, with not that many “fish out of water” members (Republicans occupying Democratic-leaning districts or Democrats in Republican-oriented districts). Arguably, this means that while fewer Democrats would have to worry about incurring the wrath of the NRA in so called pro-gun districts, relatively few Republicans would be endangered by opposing a gun-control measure.”

The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent makes the point that the Democratic coalition largely backs gun control. “What’s really striking is that opposition to stricter gun control is largely driven by white men — blue collar white men in particular. By contrast, college educated whites, white women, moderates, and minorities all show majority support for stricter gun laws. These are the emerging pillars of the Democratic coalition.”

The New York Times: “Even when the N.R.A. is silent — as its Web site and Twitter feed remained Monday, after the second-deadliest school shooting in United States history — it wields one of the biggest sticks in politics: A $300 million budget, millions of members around the country and virtually unmatched ferocity in advancing its political and legislative interests.”

“The Facebook page of the National Rifle Association disappeared this weekend in the wake of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut; the page’s former location now redirects users back to the home page,” Wired magazine writes. “Press accounts speculate that the staunch anti-gun-control group deleted its page amid a growing and impassioned debate over whether gun laws need tightening. A woman answering phones at the NRA’s public affairs office declined to immediately comment on the Facebook page Monday. … The NRA’s Google+ and YouTube pages remain intact, but the NRA “locked” its most recent Google+ post, decrying a surge in federal background checks, preventing the post from being shared with others or commented upon. On YouTube, the NRA appears to have similarly disabled comments on its most recent upload. So it would appear that the most famous Second Amendment advocacy group is not nearly as keen on people exercising the First Amendment.”

NBCNews.com’s Technology blog wraps that as well.

USA Today: “‘When there is a large-scale mass shooting like this, the NRA plays duck and cover,’ says Robert Spitzer, a political scientist at the State University of New York-Cortland and author of The Politics of Gun Control. ‘They are waiting for the storm to subside,’ Spitzer says. ‘They know that, historically, what happens is great public outrage (after mass shootings) until the political storm passes. And once that happens, then they resume standard procedures. They will work to defeat any proposed laws.’”

Here we go… “As residents of Newtown, Conn., began burying the 20 children and six adults killed in Friday's school shooting, a South Dakota legislator is drafting a bill that would allow teachers, administrators and even janitors to bring guns to school. Rep. Betty Olson, R-Prairie City, told The Associated Press on Monday that she believes armed school personnel could have mitigated the Newtown massacre.”