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Gun lobby has leg up in the gun control debate, according to Washington congressman

President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, left, hugs eight-year-old letter writer Grant Fritz during a news conference on proposals to reduce gun violence, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Following Wednesday’s announcement from President Barack Obama, Washington state Rep. Adam Smith says it’s time for people not in the gun lobby to step up and make a stronger case.

“There is no question that in terms of where the debate is at, the gun lobby has the advantage. Given the case they’ve made over the last decade. If we want to change that, we’ve got to start making a stronger case than the other side and I think that’s what’s happening.”

Smith told Seattle’s Morning News that even though he disagrees with some pro-gun activists, “They’re not some entity from another planet. They have members who are constituents who express their views on a wide variety of issues, and it’s hard to blame them for that they believe what they believe.”

Smith said looking at polling data he’s seeing a wide variety supporting some sort of gun control.

And the intensity of the President’s message and campaign on gun control matter, according to Smith.

“Intensity matters. The NRA supporters – they vote on this issue. People who support gun control tend not to.”

Legislatively, Smith said he thinks the debate will only heat up, and he thinks it will be tough to agree on further action.

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