Less than a day after the shooting in San Bernardino, Democrats and Republicans of the U.S. Senate have clashed over the burning issue of gun control. Yet, also this time the situation seems to have reached a stalemate. During his presidency, Barack Obama has asked Capitol Hill 15 times to issue measures in order to limit the purchase and possession of firearms, but he has never managed to obtain a positive answer from the Congress. It proves that the gun lobby is so strong in the country that not even Obama, its President has managed to destroy it (at least not yet).
Democrats wanted to introduce the requirement to check more thoroughly the past of those who buy firearms at exhibitions, flea markets, and on the Internet; they also proposed to patch up a legal vacuum that allows those on the terror “watch list” to purchase firearms and explosives. But both attempts foundered in the face of Republican opposition, supported by the influential gun lobby. To justify their choice, Republicans have argued that the government might put someone’s name on the list of suspects by mistake, depriving thus a person of his/her constitutional right to self-defense. Senator John Cornyn has made an attempt at mediation, proposing to give authorities 72 hours to check the background of the aspiring buyer, but his initiative has been blocked as well. Before the vote, Democratic senator Richard Blumenthal had pointed the finger at the Congress: “complicit, in failing to act” in the many shootings of innocent civilians that have been causing massacres in U.S. for years.