Durbin said he did not want to talk about the politics of the issue this week as feelings are still raw, but he noted that there was not the requisite reflection after previous tragedies and said he hopes this latest event will help “rouse the consciences of Members of Congress to talk in honest terms about how to make this country safer.”
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) will call for action today on legislation he introduced last year after the Giffords shooting.
The bill would limit the number of rounds in a magazine to 10, which proponents argue would force an assailant to have to reload and provide victims with an opportunity to try to disarm the attacker.
“What do we do beside weep with these people? ... What do we want to do to prevent it in the future? That is going to be the test,” Lautenberg said Monday. “In the coming days my colleagues and I will be talking about specific measures.”
Democrats control 53 votes in the Senate and would need Republican votes to overcome any procedural hurdles. But not all Democrats agree on the issue of gun control.
“There is a diversity of opinion with in the caucus,” the Senate aide said, as some Democrats represent states that are particularly averse to any gun control measures.
“Incidents like this haven’t tended [to] spark a cry for a legislative response from moderates and those on the fence on the issue,” the aide said. “If the president is not behind it, there is no point engaging on something that also is not going to pass the House.”
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said it would be up to gun control proponents to make the case that any new laws would make a difference.
“The burden of proof is on them,” McCain said. “Somebody would have to prove that it would have a beneficial effect. Some of the strictest gun laws in the country are in places where the crime rate and crimes committed with guns are the highest.”
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
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