© Greg Nash
President Obama lamented the power of the National Rifle Association on gun-rights issues in Congress in an interview Friday with comedian Marc Maron.
In a snippet from the podcast “WTF With Marc Maron,” which will be released in full Monday, Obama said there are many steps to go before meaningful change in gun laws.
“Unfortunately, the grip of the NRA on Congress is extremely strong,” he said. “I don’t foresee any legislative action being taken by this Congress.”
The president went on to explain how he believes change could occur.
“I don’t foresee any real action being taken until the American public feels a sufficient sense of urgency and they say to themselves, this is not normal,” he said. “If you don’t have that kind of public and voter pressure, then its not going to change from the inside.”
Obama noted he’s not totally unsympathetic to those who support gun rights.
“It is important for folks to understand how hunting and sportsmanship around firearms is really important to a lot of people,” he said. “It’s part of how they grew up. … It evokes all kinds of memories and traditions. I think you have to be respectful of that.”
“The question is just, is there a way of accommodating that legitimate set of traditions with some common-sense stuff that prevents a 21-year-old who’s angry about something — or confused about something, or is racist, or is deranged — from going into a gun store, and suddenly he’s packing and can do enormous harm?” he asked.
In a lighter topic, the president responded to Maron’s question about his favorite comedians.
“[Richard] Pryor was the number one,” he said. “Dick Gregory when he was really on the edge.”
Obama also gave props to Louis C.K.
“He’s wonderful in such a self-deprecating but edgy kind of way. There’s a goodness about him that comes through,” he said.