Every major change in the regulation of U.S. gun ownership was prompted in part by a national gun tragedy, such as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy or the attempt on the life of President Ronald Reagan. Despite Saturday’s rampage in Tucson that killed 6 and wounded 14, political observers are doubtful that there is enough support for more gun laws or that the proposals would have made a difference in Arizona, the Washington Post reports.
“This tragedy is not going to have the same kind of impetus for legislation,” said Bradley Buckles, former director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “I don’t know what needs to be done. I don’t know what you could do. People are going to get guns and shoot people. There are 300 million guns out there. We are close to the end of where we can regulate guns.” Some members of Congress want to restrict high-capacity magazines of the kind used in Tucson, but critics note that millions of the devices already are in circulation. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a gun control group, is focused on seeking tighter vetting of gun buyers, noting allegations about Arizona suspect Jared Loughner’s drug abuse. “The law says that drug abusers can’t buy guns,” said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg “Even though Jared Loughner was rejected by the military for drug use and arrested on drug charges, he was able to pass a background check and buy a gun.”