Just one day after President Obama wrote an op-ed calling for agreements on gun reform, the National Rifle Association says it won't be making any deals- even if the White House promises to uphold the Second Amendment.
Meanwhile, gun control advocates who have been critical of Obama in the past are meeting with Justice Department officials to talk about possible legislative or administrative actions.
NRA President Wayne LaPierre told Fox News Monday the issue is not, and has never been, about the guns themselves but about "bad people and madmen." LaPierre said, "We ought to be doing everything we can to take madmen and felons and drug dealers off the streets. Because you can pass all the gun laws you want, and unless you get them off the street, you are not going to make people safe."
But gun control advocates, who last year gave the president a failing grade for dealing with the issue says it's not just about getting bad people off the street - it's about controlling the flood of firearms.
"We want to make it hard for dangerous and irresponsible people to get guns," Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign told Fox Monday. "Right now it's too easy for them to get guns."
Helmke says the current laws don't work because they allowed someone like Jared Loughner, the man who shot Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., earlier this year, to purchase a weapon. "It shows what we are doing now doesn't work. Our definitions of who is likely to be dangerous didn't include Jared Loughner. He was too dangerous for his community college, too irresponsible for the Army. But we allowed him to buy a gun."
The op-ed by the president is the jumping off point for an administration that some feel has been unwilling to commit to either side of the issue.
"Until recently, he never used the word ‘gun.' He was told to stay away from these ‘issues,'" Helmke said. "Since Tucson he has talked about these issues. There is a lot to be done to keep the country safer."
Helmke said he is willing to sit down with the White House and the NRA in an effort to curtail gun violence. But LaPierre sees little point and is doubtful Obama will ever be pro-gun.
"[He] has an administration embedded with people who spent their lifetime trying to destroy this freedom. I don't take comfort in that at all," La Pierre said. "You can pass any gun law you want. As long as Jared Loughner is left on the streets, citizens are not safe."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the point being made by the president in the op-ed is that there's room for reason.
"There is room for us to have reasonable laws that uphold liberty, ensure citizen safety, respect the Second Amendment, and we should be able to find some common ground on some of those measures," Carney said Monday.
President Obama is looking for both sides to give.
"We owe the victims of the tragedy in Tucson and the countless unheralded tragedies each year nothing less than our best efforts - to seek consensus, to prevent future bloodshed, to forge a nation worthy of our children's futures."