Sen. Chris Murphy: Not enough votes to pass ‘assault’ weapons ban that Biden wants
Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut was the lone moderate senator to vote against a package of bills on Friday that would have legalized gun ownership across the nation and enacted new gun restrictions in the wake of last week’s mass-shooting in Parkland, Florida.
With the Senate Democrats’ failure to pass the bills, the debate now shifts to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, where Democrats will try to push forward proposals that are less sweeping than what they would like to pass in the Senate.
The proposals in the Senate would have included a ban on assault weapons, and the legislation did not include background checks for gun purchases. The House bill would have had a similar effect.
The failure of the bills in the upper chamber is another blow to any hope that the United States can come to grips with gun violence — including the worst mass shootings in U.S. history — in the same way it has in recent years. With the House and Senate now on a collision course over the issue, and the president unwilling to act, the clock is ticking.
On April 19, as many as 19 people died and more than a dozen were wounded in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, in 2016.
After the attack, Democrats in Congress and the White House rallied around laws that would make gun ownership easier and make it more difficult for people with mental health disorders to get or keep a weapon. And for the first time, the GOP took political advantage of what appeared to be a bipartisan moment.
After the 2015 mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, the GOP used the tragedy to seize control of the Senate, and Republicans now own the House.
But instead of addressing the root causes of gun violence, politicians from both parties have pursued an ideological approach to gun control, with Democrats in Congress seeking to ban gun stores in their districts and Republican lawmakers trying to