WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — On Capitol Hill, there’s a change in how Democrats are reacting to the latest mass shooting.
Gun safety advocates say Democrats are not pushing for stronger gun control measures like they have in the past.
Alex Barrio, with the Center for American Progress, says following the mass shooting in Buffalo, Senate Democrats are largely avoiding talking about new control measures. Barrio explained, “Democrats are divided.”
“The House, which can act, which has acted, which wants to act on this, feels this sense of futility. Because again, a handful of senators who would rather just wash their hands of the whole issue, side with the conservatives and pretend that nothing’s going to happen — pretend that they can’t do anything,” Barrio said.
After past shootings, Senate Democrats have forcefully called for expanding background checks or banning assault-style weapons.
Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO) explained, “I think people are frustrated that again and again, despite best efforts, the Senate has been unwilling to just work through what universal background checks would look like.”
Senators John Hickenlooper and Mark Warner both expressed no hope of passing a universal background check bill.
“Do I think it’s going to get 60 votes? Probably not. But I do think it’s important that the American people, you, are able to judge senator by senator where you stand on responsible gun safety legislation,” Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) said.
In contrast to Democrats, Republicans are united in their message that guns are not the problem.
Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) said, “I want to condemn any type of violence related to racism, but the epidemic in the United States is a mental health epidemic.”