After refusing to meet with Vice President Joe Biden to talk about gun control because of a ‘scheduling conflict’, Wal-Mart said on Wednesday it would meet with Biden on Thursday to share the company's position on the responsible sale of firearms.
“We underestimated the expectation to attend the meeting on Thursday in person, so we are sending an appropriate representative to participate,” a Wal-Mart spokesman said. Wal-Mart didn’t realize that its customers would be ticked that they arrogantly snubbed the Vice President of the United States for seemingly partisan reasons.
The Obama administration is gathering support from different key groups, including businesses that sell firearms, to create some consensus on what to do about gun violence and to craft new gun legislation.
Biden is meeting with victims’ groups and gun-safety advocates. He is also expected to meet with representatives from the video game and entertainment industry, but those meetings have yet to be scheduled.
The National Rifle Association, which opposes new restrictions on firearms and spent $13 million trying to stop President Barack Obama’s re-election, was among the groups invited to participate in the White House’s Task Force on Gun Violence. The NRA will meet with Biden on Thursday along with Wal-Mart.
The president has given Biden an end-of-the-month deadline to come up with recommendations to deal with gun violence in the U.S. Since the Connecticut shootings, advocates of more restrictions on firearms have revived long-stalled efforts to push for legislation.
The recommendations are likely to include both proposals for bills that would make gun laws stricter, as well as possible executive action Obama could take on his own without Congress.
But the risk of a bold approach by Obama is that it can’t pass Congress. It’s a catch-22 for the White House; they’d like to do something, and there is a chance to ‘do something,’ but what is possible and what some gun-control advocates really want are not in the same ballpark.
Several gun control bills have already been introduced in the new session of Congress, including a bans on online ammunition sales and the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines. California Sen. Diane Feinstein has also pledged to introduce a stricter version of the federal assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.