WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has quickly set in motion a pair of firearms background check bills in response to the school massacre in Texas.
But the Democrat acknowledged Wednesday the refusal for years of Congress to pass any legislation aiming to curb a national epidemic of gun violence.
The failure of a firearms background check bill after 20 kindergartners were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School almost a decade ago signaled the end of gun violence legislation in Washington.
If the new deaths don't convince Congress to act, Schumer said on the Senate floor, "what can we do?"
"There is a plague, a plague upon this nation," Schumer said. "A plague of gun violence that has taken over this country. Two weeks ago that plague claimed the lives of ten Black americans who were massacred in broad daylight while shopping at a grocery store in Buffalo."
Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut also pleaded with lawmakers while on the Senate floor to take action.