President Obama continued his gun control push Thursday at a town hall meeting on CNN. Right after the event kicked off, he made a somewhat surprising claim. While being interviewed by Anderson Cooper, Obama said he's been good for gun manufacturers. What exactly did he mean by that?
It may sound weird to hear a pro-gun-control politician like Obama boasting that he's been a boon to gun makers, but in context, it makes sense. Cooper had asked Obama about Americans who fear that he's coming to take their guns away, and Obama's response was his attempt to disprove this notion.
"I think it's useful to keep in mind that I've now been president for over seven years, and gun sales don't seem to have suffered during that time," Obama said. "They've gone up. I've been very good for gun manufacturers." This was an accurate claim: Firearm production has doubled during Obama's presidency.
Obama, who once said that the Sandy Hook massacre was the worst day of his presidency, has long been a proponent of stronger gun laws. But Congressional Republicans have successfully blocked any gun control legislation from passing during his presidency. As a result, the president has looked for other avenues for reform, signing three rounds of executive actions on guns during his presidency and announcing Thursday that he won't endorse any candidates who don't back “common sense” gun reforms.
There’s evidence that suggests that he's on the right side of public opinion. A new CNN poll showed that a majority of Americans like Obama’s gun policies, with 67 percent approving of the most recent slate of executive actions. That said, a small majority disapproved of Obama’s use of executive orders to implement these changes, and only a minority of respondents said they thought the policies would be effective in reducing gun-related deaths