After Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are increasingly coalescing around doing what seems to be the bare minimum after the attack — legislating against the devices used by the shooter to fire bullets at a rate of 400-600 rounds per minute. The so-called “bump stocks” are easily available online, can be attached to a rifle in minutes, effectively turning a legal semiautomatic weapon into a technically legal, functionally automatic one. The devices are designed to skirt heavy federal regulations on automatic rifles.
Democrats have already introduced legislation to ban the modifications, and Republicans are increasingly indicating they might take action. The wild cards are the NRA, which has proven to be a potent political force backing the Republican Party and has generally opposed even the slightest efforts at tightening gun regulation, and President Trump. It would take Trump’s signature, and most likely his leadership as well, to take action. Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Trump wouldn’t discuss gun control in the aftermath of the shooting. But with more details emerging by the day as to how one man killed to many, so quickly, White House officials believe Trump may be ready to break his silence soon. Of course, banning bump stocks would not have prevented Sunday’s attack — or attacks going forward — but had it been in place, could have limited the bloodshed. Taking some action could prove to be a political boon to Trump as well, providing him an opportunity score a bipartisan win on an issue nearly all Americans can agree on.
Tillerson’s pain. Corker speaks his mind. And investigators still haven’t ruled out collusion.
Here are your must reads:
The Fight Over Gun Control Isn’t Really About Guns
Will the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history change the debate over gun rights? [TIME]
Republicans Open to Banning ‘Bump Stocks’ Used in Massacre
But it will depend on the president [New York Times]
‘Death Spiral’: Tillerson Makes Nice But May Not Last Long With Trump
The leaks have taken their toll [Washington Post]
Angry GOP Donors Close Their Wallets
‘I’m sick and tired of nothing happening,’ one contributor says of the party’s legislative failures. [Politico]
“I think Sec. Tillerson, Sec. Mattis and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos.” —Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker to reporters Wednesday
“Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!” —President Donald Trump on Twitter Thursday, seemingly forgetting the First Amendment.
Bits and Bites
Investigators Say Russia Is Still Trying to Interfere in U.S. Politics [TIME]
Rex Tillerson Says He Isn’t Quitting As President Trump’s Secretary of State [Associated Press]
NKorean workers prep seafood going to US stores, restaurants [Associated Press]
3 Special Forces Troops Killed and 2 Are Wounded in an Ambush in Niger [New York Times]
Pro-Life Congressman Won’t Seek Re-Election After Reports He Urged Mistress to Get Abortion [TIME]