Although appearing to take the bipartisan road, the administration's meetings seem to only serve as a veneer for its agenda. Especially after examining the cryptic statements that Biden made Wednesday, it's clear that the administration's intentions have already been determined.
Biden is spending all week meeting with groups and individuals on both sides of the debate, most likely appointed to the position due to his instrumental role in the creation of the Brady Bill, which established mandatory background checks for gun purchasers.
Some of the most notable attendees include the National Rifle Association, the Brady Campaign, and Walmart. Also included in this week’s meetings were survivors of the Virginia Tech shooting, Attorney General Eric Holder, and representatives from the video game industry.
The purpose of the meetings is to assist Biden in drafting policy proposals concerning the issue — a task that President Obama would like completed by month's end.
Although the Biden meetings are intended to shape the president's looming proposals, his desires have already been made clear. As the Huffington Post reported, Obama would like congress to "reinstate a ban on military-style assault weapons, close loopholes that allow gun buyers to skirt background checks and restrict high-capacity magazines."
Obama, while addressing the importance of gun control after the Sandy Hook shootings, stated, "I will use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts aimed at preventing more tragedies like this."
Shortly after his Wednesday meetings, Biden stated that "the president is going to act. There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken," in what seemed to be a scary reinforcement of the idea that Obama may act without congressional approval.
Based on these statements, it appears that "if" is no longer a proper term when discussing gun control, but rather "when."
The most concerning issue that such statements bring to mind, is the fact that the executive branch has now become comfortable with publicly announcing its intent to forgo the established legislative checks and balances. Of which speaks volumes of the current state of American politics, which is likely a product of the Overton Window.
Despite inviting parties from both sides of the gun control debate, it's clear that the president has already decided his intent, and is only using these meetings to appear concerned about differing opinions.
The president has already made his agenda, so the question that remains is this: To what degree will the president's agenda be enacted?