New gun control action after congressional shooting? Don't bet on it
If you thought a high-caliber assault on their own ranks might move Republicans to reconsider their resistance to new gun control legislation, think again.
In the aftermath of the an attempted mass assassination of GOP congressmen on a baseball field Wednesday morning in Virginia, Capitol Hill buzzed with calls for unity and bipartisan prayers for wounded Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise. And while some lawmakers argued it was time to address an increasingly toxic political environment, others, members of Congress but mostly partisan pundits (and a son of President Donald Trump, though not the President himself), rushed to blame the attack on political rivals.
Notably absent from the chatter was any serious discussion of restricting access to the kind of firearm used by the alleged shooter, 66-year-old James Hodgkinson. Republicans postponed a planned hearing on the "Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act," a bill that would loosen restrictions on the purchase of silencers and make it easier to move guns across state lines. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said there were too many guns on the streets. But that was about it. Even among the ranks of the most vocal gun control advocates, caution ruled -- along with a wariness over being seen as using the attack to advance a political argument.
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