Middle ground elusive on gun-control issue

Lawmakers reluctant to alienate National Rifle Association
In the wake of another spate of gun mayhem—this time in Red Lake, Minnesota, just nine days after a church shooting in Brookfield, Wisconsin—the question resurfaces: Why can’t a gun-control compromise be found to prevent such incidents? The answer is complex, both politically and morally, say advocates on both sides.

Gun-control measures are being debated in state legislatures from California to Florida, but the topic has largely vanished from the national political agenda. Relatively few lawmakers are willing to risk alienating the influential National Rifle Association and its supporters.

With Republicans controlling the White House and Congress, Democrats remain at a disadvantage in advancing gun-control legislation. Two of the Democratic Party’s leading figures—Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean—have made a point of supporting certain gun rights.


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