Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., may be the highest profile Republican changing the political calculus on guns, writes Patricia Murphy. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ-Roll Call File Photo)
For anyone following gun control (or gun safety) as a political issue, it would be easy to dismiss 2016 as just another year when a whole lot happened, but nothing changed.
There have been more than 200 mass shootings in the United States so far this year, including the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and the July attack on Dallas police officers. After every major incident, Washington followed the now-familiar script of outrage, calls from Democrats for gun restrictions, denial from Republicans that guns are the problem, and then, as usual, gridlock.