It didnt work after mass shootings at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, college campuses in Virginia and Oregon, a church in Charleston, South Carolina, or at a movie theater and high school in Colorado. Or after two lawmakers survived assassination attempts.
But after a gunman killed 59 people and wounded more than 500 at a Las Vegas concert, Democrats are going to try again to revamp US gun laws.
Stunned by the mass carnage caused at a country music festival by one heavily armed gunman and embittered after years of fruitless attempts at gun control, congressional Democrats yesterday unveiled new, narrowly tailored proposals and reintroduced old ideas to close loopholes and restrict how gun buyers undergoing background checks can purchase weapons.
Democrats believe that the sheer scope of the carnage and pressure on President Donald Trump to act might make this time different. At least some senior Republicans signalled an openness to at least discuss changes in gun control policy.
As Trump flew aboard Air Force One to Las Vegas to meet survivors of the shooting, Senator Dianne Feinstein unveiled a bill that bans bump fire stocks, devices that can be purchased online for US$200 and make semiautomatic weapons fire more like automatic weapons. At least a dozen of the firearms recovered in Las Vegas were semiautomatic rifles legally modified using bump fire stocks to fire like automatic weapons.
Feinsteins plan is copy-and-pasted out of the 2013 bill to focus only on fire bump stocks and similar accessories. Hunting accessories would still be permitted. Mr and Mrs America, help us. We know the power on the other side, she said. You have to help us.
Other Democrats also announced plans to reintroduce legislation that has failed in the past. But Feinstein may find potential support. Senator John Thune, the third-ranking GOP senator, said that banning bump fire stocks is worth having a conversation about, and some of our members agree with that. Senator Lindsey Graham agreed, saying: Its something Id be interested in looking at to see if a law change would matter. Would it affect things? Id be willing to look at that.
Congressman Mark Meadows said: You have to have a special class of license to have an automatic weapon. And, so, if this is something to bypass this, I think it becomes something that we obviously need to look at.
The very fact that there could be an opening for Congress to do something bipartisan is notable.
But Senator Richard Shelby spoke for many conservative lawmakers: Im a Second Amendment man. Im not for any gun control.