Many Americans expected a real change in the nation’s gun laws after the killing of 20 first-graders in Newtown. But three months later, the outcome looks unclear. No fewer than four pieces of legislation have passed a Senate panel over the past two weeks to move to the Senate floor. “It’s a step forward,” Debra DeShong Reed, spokeswoman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, told MSNBC.
At the same time, legislators in both the House and Senate have stuck provisions into spending bills that could undermine federal enforcement of both existing and proposed gun control efforts. “It’s gonna be a slog,” Ladd Everitt, spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, told MSNBC.
“The will is there,” Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, told MSNBC. Sugarmann is a longtime gun control advocate who grew up in Newtown decades before this past December’s tragedy. “But the NRA is relentless,” he added. “They are out there in public. They are working behind the scenes, and that is what we are seeing right now.”
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[Correction: The story incorrectly refers to a pump-action, semi-automatic shotgun used in Aurora, Colorado. The weapon used was a pump action shotgun. As many readers pointed out in comments, a weapon could not be both. My apologies. FS]