Senators expect another vote on gun control by end of year
WASHINGTON — Two top senators predicted on Thursday that gun legislation will come up again for a Senate vote — possibly before the end of the year — as public attitudes shift toward stricter controls.
Their assessment follows the defeat last week of a widely popular bipartisan background check measure that was drafted in response to the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman opened fire, killing 26 people, mostly children.
“I think we're going to bring this bill back before the end of the year and I think you may find some changes,” said Sen Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a chief backer of the bill, at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “Lots of senators who thought it was safe to vote against it” he said, “are not so sure anymore” because of changing attitudes.
Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a key Republican backer of the measure who spoke at the same event, concurred. “I do agree with Chuck. I think the issue is going to come back,” he said.
McCain said Congress needs to address specific aspects of gun violence that were not covered in the bill, including “the issue of crazy people who do terrible things,” as he noted the mass shootings in Connecticut, Colorado and in Tucson in his home state.
“That is probably the toughest part of this issue: Where do individual rights end and the obligation to protect the population begin?” McCain said.
New polling show Americans' anger with the Senate's vote is not as strong as the satisfaction coming from those who said they were “very happy” with the outcome.