White House Press Secretary Jay Carney pauses as he speaks
about US President Barack Obama's response to the Sandy
Hook Elementary School shootings during a media briefing at
the White House in Washington. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A day after President Barack Obama made an impassioned
plea for changes to prevent another gun-fuelled massacre in the
United States, the White House has declined to lay out any
details of what he planned to do or how he planned to do it.
Obama spoke at a memorial service on Sunday (local time) for
the victims of the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary
school and pledged to launch an effort to reduce violence by
engaging law enforcement agencies, mental health
professionals, parents and educators.
He did not specifically mention gun control or gun
enthusiasts, however. After tragic shootings in the past, the
president has called for changes without following up with
The White House on Monday declined to flesh out Obama's
"I don't have a specific timeline for you for what the
president will do moving forward," spokesman Jay Carney told
a briefing. "I would simply refer you to his remarks last
night when he talked about the action he hoped to take to
engage the American people ... in the coming weeks."
Carney declined to comment on a proposal by independent
Senator Joe Lieberman calling for a commission on violence to
be set up.
Despite reiterating Obama's support for a renewal of a ban on
assault weapons, Carney also declined to say specifically
whether the president would back and help push a proposal
that Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said she would put
forward next year to reinstate the ban.
"I'm not going to engage in specific point-by-point policy
proposals or prescriptions, but the president, as you know,
has long supported reinstating the assault weapons ban that
expired in 2004," Carney said. "As the president has said -
and I just said - this is a complex problem that requires
complex and a variety of solutions."
Carney did say that gun control - a divisive issue in the
United States - was part but not all of the answer to address
violence after the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.
"I think it's part of it but it's far from all of it," he
Despite not having to run for re-election, tackling guns
remains a tricky issue for Obama, who has other policy
priorities including immigration reform and deficit reduction
in his second term.