Once again, following yet another mass shooting, members of Congress are meeting with survivors and introducing a flurry of bills aimed at combating gun violence. But while some lawmakers insist that it’s a “new day” on Capitol Hill, citing the activism of the Stoneman Douglass High School students that has galvanized the country, others predict that this push will end like those after gun massacres in Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, and the Pulse nightclub—with inaction.
Even as Delta Airlines and a host of other major corporations distance themselves from the NRA, and Dick’s Sporting Goods moves to end sales of assault rifles in their stores nationwide, some lawmakers are hesitant to take action and others cannot agree on a path forward.
Complicating Congress’ already entrenched resistance to gun control legislation is a mercurial President, who one days calls for standing up to the NRA and the next walks back his support for gun control bills, and a familiar struggle between Democrats and Republicans about how to begin the debate. Meanwhile, several Republican lawmakers remain staunchly opposed to even the most modest policy changes.
Asked if he saw any appetite among his colleagues for passing a gun-related bill in the coming weeks, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) told TPM flatly, “No, I don’t.”
Some supporters of gun control were equally pessimistic. Asked if he’s seeing any change in his colleagues’ resistance to passing new restrictions, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) sighed and responded: “Not yet.”
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