Congress is back to work and could take up gun legislation this week. In an interview on Jansing & Co. Monday, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy outlined why both sides of Congress could come together on gun legislation in the next few days. Here’s the formula he said could lead to a breakthrough:
1. Newtown families are getting involved.
The members of the group, Sandy Hook Promise, will fly with the president aboard Air Force One from Connecticut, back to Washington, DC to continue lobbying efforts.
‘There’s nobody that can speak for gun violence legislation better than the Newtown families, they’re going to be here [Washington, DC] this week. And in Connecticut about a month ago people didn’t think that the state legislature could pass a ban on these high capacity magazines and the state legislature did with overwhelming support, in part because these Newtown families came to the state capitol and legislators couldn’t look them in the eye and say no.”
2. Momentum is back for gun safety advocates.
Democrats may finally have a Republican partner on background checks. Conservative Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania has been talking with West Virginia Democrat and NRA A-rated Senator Joe Manchin—they’ve even traded drafts of legislation.
“I think that there is momentum with Senator Toomey joining with Senator Manchin, with Connecticut’s landmark passage last week, with the President coming to Connecticut tonight and that 60 Minutes piece, which frankly I would challenge any Republican to watch that 60 minutes piece and then come down the floor and filibuster a vote on gun reform—I do think there’s momentum to get something done in the next couple weeks in Washington.”
3. Lawmakers fear it won’t be long until the next shooting spree.
“Every Senator has to ask if they want to sit on the sidelines and allow this to happen again. It is going to happen again, maybe it won’t be 20 kids, but even if it’s 5 or 10 or 3, we need to do something here to make sure it doesn’t.”
4. The NRA is losing strength.
“I think the NRA is a side show and I think the NRA is a paper tiger. In the 2012 elections they put money into 16 U.S. Senate races and they lost 13 of them. They have this methodology here that just has absolutely no basis in reality… if they look at the real political record of the NRA you can figure out it’s pretty easy to vote for gun violence legislation and not have any political ramifications.”