Reid suggests Dems to blame on gun bill losses

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. talks about the compromise process of working on the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill with the Republicans holding the majority in Congress.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. talks about the compromise process of working on the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill with the Republicans holding the majority in Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON — Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said Thursday his party has tried everything to get gun control legislation through Congress and still keeps losing to the National Rifle Association.

Reid said Democrats themselves may be to blame — or maybe voters are gullible, even after multiple mass shootings.

The comments from the Nevada Democrat in an interview with The Associated Press reflect frustrations in his caucus, where some lawmakers are deeply perturbed over congressional inaction on guns. Several attempts by Democrats to force votes on the issue this month failed to garner even a Senate majority in favor of background checks or keeping suspected terrorists from buying guns.

“We’ve tried everything, so maybe we are to blame. Or maybe the American people are gullible to these NRA folks,” said Reid, himself a one-time NRA ally who appeared with the group’s leader, Wayne LaPierre, to open a new gun range while running for re-election in 2010.

Now Reid is a year away from retiring from the Senate after five terms.

“Why wouldn’t it be realistic to do something about gun control?” he asked. “Why should somebody that’s crazy or a criminal be able to buy a gun? Why should somebody that’s on a terrorist watch list be able to buy a gun?”

Yet Republicans have opposed all such measures and voice no concerns about political vulnerability on the issue, even after the shooting in San Bernardino, California, this month. Efforts by congressional gun control advocates following the slaughter of kids and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut three years ago also went nowhere.

The NRA has proven effective in the past at turning out voters to punish lawmakers who cross them on votes. Democrats have not organized effectively against the group, as Reid acknowledged.

The preferred GOP approach to dealing with mass shootings is to focus on mental health legislation, which House GOP leaders say they want to see advance.

Democratsgun controlHarry ReidNational Rifle AssociationNevadaNRARepublicansUS

Just Posted

Telling teachers their hopes and dreams can keep troubled students from returning to jail. (Photo by Julie Leopo/EdSource)
Stanford study finds writing teachers a letter can turn around lives of some students

By Carolyn Jones EdSource Formerly incarcerated students who wrote letters to their… Continue reading

San Franciscans are likely to have the opportunity to vote in four different elections in 2022. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Electionpalooza: SF school board recall will kick off a flurry of local races

‘It’s going to be a lot of elections and a lot of decisions for voters to make’

The fate of San Francisco nicotine giant Juul remains to be seen, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing whether to allow certain flavored vape products on the market. <ins>(Jeenah Moon/New York Times)</ins>
How the vape king of teen nicotine addiction rose and fell in San Francisco

‘Hey, Juul, don’t let the door hit you on the way out’

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

Most Read