White House officials on Wednesday attempted to quell criticism that President Obama dodged a national debate over guns in his State of the Union address and announced that the president would address the issue soon.But aides sidestepped questions about when Obama will talk about federal firearms policy or what he would say."I wouldn't rule out that at some point the president talks about the issues surrounding gun violence," Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said aboard Air Force One on the way to an event with Obama in Wisconsin. "I don't have a timetable or, obviously, what he would say."As president, Obama has never delivered substantive remarks on gun policy, one of the most volatile and divisive domestic issues, out of fear of roiling swing voters in rural areas, the Midwest and the South.But after 19 people were shot in Tucson on Jan. 8, gun-control groups and some lawmakers urged Obama to wade into the issue. Advocates for stricter gun laws expressed dismay that Obama avoided the topic in a national address delivered less than three weeks after the rampage.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
From James Grimaldi and Perry Bacon Jr. of The Washington Post on Jan. 26: