Why this moment for gun politics is different

Why this moment for gun politics is different

If fallout from the nation’s two most recent mass shootings runs to form, calls for stricter gun laws on the left will meet resistance from the right. Washington will gridlock, and the media will move on. But the current debate is taking place under an uncommon alignment of the political stars, creating a unique moment in the arc of gun politics. Democrats control the White House and both houses of Congress for the first time since 2011. Public polling reflects widespread support for background checks and other gun measures , while the National Rifle Association — a traditional power in Republican Party politics — has been crippled by financial problems and infighting . For the gun reform movement — a centerpiece of the Democratic Party’s agenda for at least a quarter century — the question this week has become, if not now, when? “This is the moment,” said Shannon Watts, founder of the advocacy group Moms Demand Action. “The NRA is sidelined by bankruptcy, and we have a gun-sense trifecta in the White House, the Senate and the House.” The shootings in Boulder, Colo., on Monday and in Georgia last week did not just restart America’s on-again, off-again hostilities over guns. The November election tilted the field in Democrats’ favor. More than after any shooting in the past decade, the party’s response to the killings in Colorado and Georgia will serve as a measure of how much Democrats can achieve when they occupy the commanding heights. It’s a pivotal […]

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