It shows you how decisively the NRA has won the debate over gun control, that a rampage of gun violence throughout the United States over the past couple weeks can happen, that mass deaths in Mexico can be attributed to the sale of guns smuggled across the border, and the White House still can't bring itself to advocating for banning assault weapons, for which there is no legitimate hunting or personal protection use.
THOMAS: Is the president concerned about the epidemic of killings by guns and is he willing to move towards reinstating the ban on assault weapons?
GIBBS: Obviously, we, while we were overseas last week, were surprised and shocked at the news at what had happened in New York. … That’s one of the reasons that increased money to hire more police officers as in the Recovery Act. I was asked specifically about assault weapons. I think the president would — the president believes there are other strategies we can take to enforce the laws that are already on our books.
I fully recognize that Obama's in a tough spot - the far right has basically claimed he would ban all guns, which he never advocated. But this is of course the Overton Window in action. Obama has to respond to those charges by taking even sensible gun control off the table. The NRA has been one or two steps ahead of this game for a long time.