Gun control group gives Obama failing grade; says it's been disappointing year
By Michael O'Brien - 01/18/10 09:54 AM ET
President Barack Obama received a failing grade this year from The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence on Monday .
The Brady Campaign blasted the president, whom the group endorsed in 2008, for not having taken significant steps to advance gun control laws.
"It's been a very disappointing year for us, especially considering what he campaigned on," the group's president, Paul Helmke, said during an appearance on MSNBC. "This year they ran away from the issue, and actually signed two repeals of good gun legislation."
Those changes, which would allow guns in national parks and on Amtrak trains, were attached as amendments to larger pieces of legislation the president generally supported.
Obama got an "F" on every issue the Brady Campaign scored, according to its report card.
Helmke said the Obama administration hadn't yet reached out to the gun control group, and that he doesn't expect the White House to do so anytime soon.
The critical remarks come as the president has come under fire from other groups of supporters for having ceded too much ground to centrists and Republicans in the national healthcare debate.
Helmke urged Obama to make the case for stricter gun laws after the kinds of shooting tragedies that plagued the U.S. in 2009.
"The response to the White House to these events was basically silence; sympathy, but nothing about guns," he said.