US Senate debates gun control after California shooting

Updated: 2015-12-04 09:55


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After that tragedy, gun control legislation appeared to gain traction, only to fail in 2013 following an emotional Senate debate.

With the latest mass shootings in Paris, as well as in Colorado and California fresh in the public's mind, Democrats argued sentiment was again turning in their favor on gun control.

"I think we are ... reaching a tipping point," New York Senator Charles Schumer said, adding that mass shootings "week after week" were "arousing the American conscience."

But given Thursday's Senate votes and recent public opinion polls, it is not apparent the United States has reached a "tipping point" in favor of stricter gun laws.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll last month found 82 percent thought gun violence was a very serious or somewhat serious problem. But opinion split almost evenly over whether enacting new laws to reduce gun violence or protecting the right to own guns was more important.

The poll also found that 63 percent blamed mass shootings on mental health problems, while 23 percent cited inadequate gun control.

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