Why does gun reform fail, no matter how intense the outrage from horrendous attacks?
The most important and obvious factor is exactly what the President mentioned: the overwhelming power of the gun lobby.
This is one of the most sophisticated lobbies in the country. The National Rifle Assocation and other gun rights organizations employ a full arsenal of lobbying tools -- from disputed constitutional arguments, to a massive campaign finance war chest, to voter mobilization drives -- that are enough to influence members of both parties.
In the 2014 midterm elections, the NRA spent $12 million, with 95% of its candidates victorious. Whenever the issue comes up in Congress, the NRA mobilizes and makes it clear that there will be payback for any representative or senator who supports gun control. Read more ...
Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University and a New America fellow. He is the author of "Jimmy Carter" and "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society."
Carol Costello: Feel disrespected? Pull a gun
We require every single person in every state in this country to pass a driving proficiency test before they're issued a license to get behind the wheel. So why not require that wannabe gun owners pass a gun proficiency test before they are issued a license to obtain and shoot a gun?
Under our current federal laws, states require little more than filling out a form in order to buy and use a gun. Depending on where a gun is purchased, the applicant may have to undergo a criminal background check, and wait a couple days before they can purchase a firearm. The fact that it's so easy is a matter of national pride. Read more ...
Carol Costello anchors the 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET edition of CNN's "Newsroom" each weekday.
Daniel Webster: How America swallowed the gun lobby's Kool-Aid
Once again, Americans are shocked and saddened by an unspeakable act of gun violence. Nine innocent people who attended a bible study at the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, will not return home to their loved ones, and a community will forever be changed.
In a nation with a homicide rate that is nearly seven times higher than the average of other developed countries which have much stricter regulations, the all too regular experience of mass murder committed with firearms in American is tragic and senseless.
We should not have to accept these often preventable acts of violence -- about 11,000 homicides committed with firearms per year, or about 30 a day -- as our fate. Read more ...