(Jonathan Newton/Washington Post)

Much initial reaction to President Obama's proposals to limit gun violence is breaking down along predictably partisan lines, with Democrats expressing support and Republicans adopting a tepid wait-and-see approach.

But even some Democrats are taking a cautious stance. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) predicted recently that Obama's most ambitious proposal -- an outright ban on assault weapons -- has almost no chance of passing the Republican-led House.