December 21st, 2012
05:18 PM ET

Letters to the President #1432: 'The gun lobby'

Reporter's Note: Each day throughout the year I send a letter off to the White House. So far the president has not responded, but perhaps this is the day…

Dear Mr. President,

I attended the NRA press conference this morning not far from the White House, and I thought about walking over to say hi, but ended up getting too busy…you know how it is. I don’t suppose, btw, that I should call it a press conference, since they refused to take any questions. That makes it more of a speech or statement, and as you know, in D.C. that makes a big difference.

Anyone can stand up and say what he or she thinks. It is a whole other matter to let people grill you afterward…to poke at your ideas, tear into your statements, and generally make a mess out of your carefully constructed presentation. I understand why no public figure relishes that process, especially on such a sensitive subject as guns and gun laws.

That said I tend to think that most leaders are better served when they do take questions. Yes, yes, I realize that we media types can be as unruly as a room full of wet cats. We can ask questions that are off the subject, we can become obsessed about minor issues while missing major ones, and we can engage in “gotcha” journalism which, for my money, really does precious little to help anyone, least of all our readers or viewers who just want clarity.

Still, I believe the most robust ideas and carefully considered plans can stand up to the scrutiny.

I’m not taking a swing at the NRA here, because these are things I would say about any group. It just came to mind because I was there this morning and they did not answer any questions no matter how hard we tried to ask them. They did say that they will be happy to answer questions through their press office next week. I’m not sure why. Seems like it would have been more convenient for everyone if we just asked them while we were all in the same room, but I guess if they wanted me to be in charge they would ask me to take over.

Anyway, I need to cut this short a bit since I have Christmas shopping to do. Yes, that’s right…not all of us have a staff to take care of that. Ha!

Call if you can.


soundoff (One Response)
  1. Rob Davis

    I'm not sure the NRA called it a "press conference" so maybe you're reaching just like Wolf Blitzer did today when the President made a few remarks. Wolf insisted the President should take questions, which was much more rude than your comments, though. Meeting the press doesn't mean they get to ask questions. Asking the NRA to respond to questions would be like asking God to do the same. The Devil wouldn't mind, I'm sure, but in my opinion the NRA is neither, just a bunch of men who are making up for their shortcomings by having long thick guns and few brains.
    It's time for some guns to be outlawed, period. Congress should act. The President WILL sign.

    December 22, 2012 at 12:35 am |

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