• Wed. Oct 4th, 2023


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Democrats Hit Pause on Gun Control Vote, Hoping for a Compromise

“We’ve been burned so many times before” when it came to negotiating a bipartisan compromise, Mr. Schumer said.

The echoes between the Newtown, Conn., mass shooting at Sandy Hook in December 2012, which left 20 children and six adults dead, and the Uvalde, Texas, violence, which killed at least 19 children and two teachers, are painful. In both cases, a loner from the community attacked an elementary school, overpowering children and adults with an arsenal.

After Newtown, then-Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was charged with persuading a bipartisan coalition of at least 60 senators to act, and break a threatened filibuster by Republicans. On Tuesday night, a seemingly anguished President Biden made the case for “common sense gun laws,” including an assault weapons ban, and declared, “It’s time to turn this pain into action.”

But in remarks on Wednesday, Mr. Biden, too, appeared to hang back rather than call for specific action by Congress, referring vaguely to the need to show “backbone” and challenge the powerful gun lobby.

Then, as now, bipartisan legislation exists, written by Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, and Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, to impose universal criminal background checks for gun purchasers at gun shows and in internet sales. Then, as now, the barrier was the Senate’s requirement of 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster.