After Oregon Shootings, Senators To Pursue Gun Background Checks


Senate Democrats will make another gun-control push after the Roseburg, Or., community college massacre, Politico reports. Minority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) accused Republicans of being “puppets” of the influential National Rifle Association in obstructing action on guns. Reid is reaching out to other Democratic senators on moving background checks legislation. It’s a tall order in the Senate, where two years ago Republicans and red-state Democrats blocked a bill when the chamber was under Democratic control. Senate Republicans shrugged off the push from Democrats as political and not addressing the root cause of the country’s mass shooting affliction.

“We’ll see whether the people who have no solution, who just want to keep talking about guns, are willing to meet us halfway,” said Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), who wants to focus on the link between mental health and guns. “If somebody’s got a better idea, great. But if they’re just going to rail about guns and violence without offering solutions, that’s not good enough.” The spate of recent mass shootings, including last week's Oregon killings, the shootings of two journalists on air in August, and a rampage that left nine dead at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., have left Democrats frustrated that the GOP-led Congress is unlikely to act on tougher gun measures. President Obama has suggested people should become single-issue voters on the issue of gun violence. If “we don't take action, we are equally responsible for innocent deaths as the sick individuals who plot and carry out these horrific measures,” Reid said yesterday. “One thing is clear: To pass background checks, we need Republicans to stop acting as puppets of the NRA.”

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