Will Nashville shooting prompt assault weapons ban? 'We’ve gone about as far as we can go'
In the aftermath of a school shooting in Nashville that killed six people, including three children, there's another push in Washington for comprehensive gun control.
But with partisan gridlock on how to move forward — and with staunchly pro-gun Republicans in control of the House — it is unlikely that legislation addressing gun violence in the U.S. will make it to President Joe Biden's desk.
There have been 130 mass shootings in the U.S. this year, with 38 of them occurring just this month, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Here's what we know about gun control efforts in Congress.
Democrats, GOP differ on gun reform
Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers called for action after the Nashville school shooting, but members of the two parties differ on what action should be taken to address the gun violence crisis plaguing the U.S.
President Joe Biden renewed his call for Congress to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines following the Nashville school shooting.
“It's heartbreaking, a family's worst nightmare,” Biden said. “We have to do more to stop gun violence. It's ripping our communities apart, ripping at the very soul of the nation."
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., echoed Biden's plea in a Senate floor speech, saying that he "strongly, strongly supports" legislation to ban assault weapons, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he also cares "passionately" about an assault weapons ban.
Republican lawmakers say that Congress should focus on addressing mental health as a root cause of U.S. gun violence and increasing the number of "good guys with guns."
Rep. Andy Ogles, who represents the Tennessee district where Monday’s shooting took place, told CNN the "real issue facing the country" is mental health.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Twitter ripped into Democrats for blocking his 2022 legislation that would have funded a doubling of the number of school resource officers and the hiring of 15,000 mental health professionals for middle and high schools.
Outlook bleak for assault weapons ban
After the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two adults dead, Biden signed a bipartisan gun bill meant to keep weapons away from dangerous people. The legislation was the most significant law of its kind in the last 30 years, he said when signing the bill into law.
But less than a year later, as another community reels from another mass school shooting, there's little movement on gun legislation that has been introduced in both chambers of Congress.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters Monday that he does not think the Senate can go further on any gun-related bills, or on background checks, than it did last year when he helped to lead negotiations on the bipartisan bill.
“I would say we’ve gone about as far as we can go unless somebody identifies some area that we didn’t address,” he said, according to the Hill.
Tennessee GOP Rep. Tim Burchett holds a more fatalist perspective on the crisis; he told reporters that “laws don’t work” to curb gun violence, according to CNN.
“We want to legislate evil – it’s just not gonna happen,” he said. “If you think Washington is going to fix this problem, you’re wrong. They’re not going to fix this problem. They are the problem.”
What we know: Covenant School shooting in Nashville: 3 children, 3 adults dead; victims' names released
President Biden: 'It's sick': Biden again calls for assault weapons ban after school shooting in Nashville
GOP lawmaker: Andy Ogles, GOP congressman representing Nashville shooting site, criticized for posing with guns in family Christmas photo
2022 bipartisan gun bill: One month after Uvalde massacre, Biden signs most significant gun control bill in nearly 30 years
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nashville shooting: Will Congress ban assault weapons in gun reform?