After the fatal shootings at a Charleston, S.C., church, sponsors of gun safety legislation that failed in the U.S. Senate two years ago and the head of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force said nothing about guns, the New York Times reports. Two and a half years after the massacre of 20 children in Newtown, Ct.,galvanized some lawmakers to seek modest gun control legislation, the prospects now are even more remote. Members of Congress, weary from the emotional fight and ultimate failure to get a bill to enhance background checks for gun sales off the Senate floor in 2013, seem resigned to the view that if 20 small children killed at a school cannot move Congress, then nine black men and women shot dead by a white man during Bible study will not, either.
President Barack Obama said he didn’t know if the 2013 bill “would have prevented what happened in Charleston. No reform can guarantee the elimination of violence. But we might still have some more Americans with us.” He also said that politics in Washington don’t favor gun-control legislation now. More, not fewer, guns is the solution many state lawmakers and the National Rifle Association are pushing to combat violent episodes. More legislators are working on mental health issues in connection with gun violence rather than gun controls. (Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for “common sense” gun measures in a speech to mayors, Politico reported.)