Editorial: Give ’em hell, Barry

It was soaring rhetoric, but can it fly in the real world — you know, the world where congressional Republicans say no to everything?
Supporters and even some of his numerous enemies agree that the United States’ first biracial president gave a great speech at his second inauguration on Monday, but did Barack Obama make the very best of it? Not for people who want real gun control.
While Mr. Obama said many of the right things, he declined to seize the moment by exploiting the most powerful bully pulpit in the free world to put gun control at the top of the to-do list.
If he’s waiting until the State of the Union address on Feb. 12 — the birthday of his hero Abraham Lincoln — to formally renew his call for gun control, Mr. Obama is making a big mistake.
Pundits agree that he has only about a year in which to get major legislation passed, so the guy needs to kick some butt. He should call out lawmakers in Congress — Republicans AND Democrats who are petrified of the National Rifle Association — and gun nuts who want no restrictions on weapons.
Mr. Obama needs to spend his political capital, left over from a big re-election victory, and expend the intestinal fortitude necessary to get military-style assault weapons out of the hands of the general public, end the insane and insidious loopholes that allow visitors at gun shows to purchase weapons on the spot and with no background checks, and institute a federal registry of all weapons.
These common-sense measures and others, which would have been enacted long ago were it not for a plethora of cowards in Congress, will help to prevent another Newtown, Conn.-type of slaughter of innocent life.

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