(CNN)A day after the seventh mass shooting in as many days in the United States, a painfully familiar question has returned to Washington: What, if anything, can be done to prevent this kind of tragedy?
On Capitol Hill, the answer is as complicated as ever.The Democrat-controlled House recently passed bills tackling who can buy a gun and how to close loopholes on background checks. President Joe Biden announced support for both measures, saying on Tuesday, “I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common-sense steps that will save lives in the future.”BUT the Democrats’ razor-thin Senate majority significantly limits what they — and the administration — can accomplish. And right now, the Senate remains at an impasse over expanding background checks on gun sales.
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Republicans in the Senate say they aren’t interested in bills to expand background checks. They argue they won’t work, they would eat away at gun rights and the focus should be on other matters, like addressing the root causes of crime.Read MoreDemocrats are pointing to that GOP resistance as yet another reason to bust the filibuster — saying the Senate’s rules should be changed so that 51 senators can break a filibuster, rather than 60. But they even lack the votes within their own 50-member caucus to change the rules.Despite all of this, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged to bring the House’s universal background check bill to the Senate floor. “This Senate will be different,” Schumer said, promising that the chamber would take up debate on gun legislation.The Point: Democrats are in control, but their majorities are too narrow to bring the kind of sweeping gun reforms advocates are calling for in the wake of yet another horrific and senseless mass shooting.