The last time Congress passed gun control legislation was the1993 Brady Act, which requires a background check and 3 day waiting period for handguns. Since then, the firearm death toll equals that of the total American battle deaths during World War II (The World Almanac, 2017 ed. P. 170, “Casualties in Principal Wars of the US). One major problem with installing new gun control is the influence of the NRA and gun manufacturers since Citizen United v. Federal Election Commission (2010). The US Supreme Court ruled that corporations can finance political campaigns. There is, however, an unspoken promise for these donations from special interest groups: unyielding support from lawmakers.
In North Carolina, “the NRA has spent almost $7.7million on behalf of Sen. Richard Burr and $4.5million on behalf of Sen. Thom Tillis. The group has also donated to nearly every Republican member of Congress.” (Murphy, Brian, “GOP Open to Rules on ‘Bump Stocks’ News & Observer 10-6-17).
Is it reasonable to ask congressional leaders to protect the public as much as they finance their campaigns with money from gun lobbyists? A week after 59 people were shot dead and hundreds more wounded in the Las Vegas mass shooting, Republicans were reluctant to discuss gun regulations or an outright ban on “bump stocks” despite some support from the NRA. In the days following the tragedy in Texas when 26 people were killed in a church Republicans continue to shy from the idea of gun control, even if it is to strictly enforce existing regulations put in place by the ATF. Some “leaders” claim tougher laws will not help, but provide no solutions. What is certain for Republicans is the Second Amendment is second only to the money received from gun lobbyists, and left behind among the casualty of yet another horrific mass shooting is public safety.