While congressional Republicans push bills that would give money to schools for more safety measures, Democratic leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland says, “The Republicans would like to have the public think they’re doing something and have the [National Rifle Association] think they’re doing nothing.”
Republicans hold 23 House seats in moderate, suburban districts where Hillary Clinton prevailed in 2016. Many of them worry that their re-election will be endangered if they do not favor gun control measures.
Some gun enthusiasts are turning to YouTube to learn how they might 3-D print a bump stock of their own. “What kind of glue did you use to stick it all together?” asked a YouTube commenter under a video showing off a 3-D-printed bump stock in action.
Most likely, neither the justices who believe that the Constitution allows strict gun laws nor those who think that such gun control laws are unconstitutional are sure they have the votes to prevail if the court takes up these issues.
Determined not to end up with a failed effort like their drive for a federal immigration law, Democratic leaders in Congress are coalescing behind a bill to improve gun background checks. They also are working to seize on the mounting public outrage and press their advantage by stoking big turnouts to demonstrations this month planned by survivors of the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fl.
Four major retailers have issued restrictions on gun sales that are stronger than federal law. Others are cutting ties to the National Rifle Association. The NRA is unlikely to change its views but some politicians might.
At least seven other teens walked into schools with guns the day after a Florida teen killed 17 at a school. Federal law requires schools to report incidents in which students carry guns to school, but reporting is lax.
The current gun debate has focused on background checks for legal firearms purchases. But gun violence is often committed by criminals who obtained their weapons illegally, according to podcasters who talked with youths and with researcher Philip J. Cook of Duke University about Chicago’s flourishing underground gun market.
The president hints that he may back a wide range of measures, but it is not clear exactly which ones. After he met with National Rifle Association leaders, they tweeted that he and Vice President Pence “don’t want gun control.”