In his weekly news conference, Reid told reporters he’d like to move a bill to address gun control or background checks but was not confident there are enough votes in the Senate to do so.
“Better idea: A background check and ‘cooling off period’ before mainstream media can file stories,” another tweet from Stockman’s account read. His press secretary, Donny Ferguson (@DonnyFerguson), tweeted the same thing and controls Stockman’s account.
But Stockman was the exception, not the rule.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who has been a strong advocate of an assault weapons ban, said the Navy Yard shooting was one more event to add to the “litany of massacres” that occur when “a deranged person or grievance killer is able to obtain multiple weapons — including a military-style assault rifle — and kill many people in a short amount of time.
“When will enough be enough?” Feinstein asked.
However, the FBI said Tuesday afternoon that it doesn’t have any information that the shooter had an assault rifle in his possession.
Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., who has been helping lead the background check push, vowed to keep up the effort.
“I don’t know what will happen in the coming days, but Americans are not going to sit by and allow these mass shootings while we say absolutely nothing here,” he said. “It’s unconscionable that we sit by and do nothing in Washington as 6,000 people have died across the country since Newtown, 13 more yesterday.”
King, the Republican co-sponsor of Thompson’s gun bill, said in a very brief statement to CQ Roll Call relayed by his spokesman that he was not ready to discuss next steps.
“In light of yesterday’s tragedy, it is too early,” King said.
The White House, meanwhile, said President Barack Obama continues to push the background check bill.
The president “doesn’t accept that it’s the new normal,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said of mass shootings. “He believes that Americans don’t and can’t accept that. ... We continue to call on Congress to listen to the voices of their constituents and legislate accordingly.”
He said rather than asking the president what he plans to do next, reporters should ask Republicans.
“The problem here is not Democrats,” he said. “The problem here is senators — overwhelmingly from one party — who refuse to do something very simple, which is expand the background check system that everyone believes functions well but needs to function better.”
Meredith Shiner and Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.