Why would he care now? Not like he's running for office again. Other than that, there is probably some wisdom to what you said.
However, I believe he wants to do something, he just doesn't want to have to deal with the backlash.
As I posted upthread, the gun legislation he has passed hasn't been anti-gun. He signed bills to allow people to carry on Amtrak and in national parks. When he was asked about AWB at the debates, he pretty much side stepped the question. I don't think he's hiding his desire to take. away your guns. I think he doesn't care and has been relieved that it hasnt been a real issue during his presidency up until now. Some see it as him pussy footing for the sake of deciphering the polls. His tune will be dictated by polls, but I think it really is a battle he has no interest in to begin with, and is even less inclined to want to be a part of because he knows how contentious it will be.