"This is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence," President Barack Obama said during his State of the Union address, less than two months after a horrific mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. killed 20 children and six adults. "But this time is different."
But is it really different? Politico notes that "more than 100 days [after the Newtown shootings], no bill has passed either house of Congress — and members are now off on a two-week spring break." A new CBS poll shows that only 47 percent of Americans support stricter gun control laws — down significantly from 57 percent in the aftermath of the Connecticut shooting.
Democrats — supposedly the drivers of tough gun-control laws — seem to have lost some of their zeal, too. In February, 78 percent of Democrats wanted stricter laws. Today that number is 66 percent.
Congress certainly isn't getting a lot done. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cut Sen. Diane Feinstein's assault weapons ban out of a larger gun bill. The other big measures — universal background checks and a largely non-controversial anti-gun trafficking bill —haven't made much progress either. And Republican Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee have threatened to filibuster gun-control measures.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) expressed his frustration to Politico:
People in the Congress of the United States don't want to do this. And I think they'll get some things done on trafficking, school safety perhaps, some of the background checks loopholes — but not all of them. Each time that [a shooting] happens, we'll continue to have this debate. [Politico]
Meanwhile, the NRA had its biggest fundraising month in over a decade in February, raking in $1.6 million. Gun owners are buying so much ammo that law enforcement agencies are reportedly worried about not having enough bullets.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How my boyfriend and I learned to live on one income
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Why China's Communist Party is headed for collapse
- Why the poor's investment of choice is so alarming
- Why cutting the government doesn't make it more efficient
- How to make perfect fried rice in 6 easy steps
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Obama's next steps on immigration
- Affirmative action is doomed. Here's what progressives should do about it.
Subscribe to the Week