For a period of time after December’s elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Americans felt a collective sense of outrage, that something had to be done about gun violence in this country. Politicians promised stronger gun laws, and the public seemed to approve.
But just a few months later, it looks like that support has dropped off — at least in Congress.
New legislation has much duller teeth than it could have a few months back. There’s the possibility of requiring universal background checks, but little hope for passing through a limit on magazine clip sizes, and even less promise for an all-out assault weapons ban. Just yesterday, the White House said it doesn't support a national gun registry.
So why is gun control such a divisive issue in the United States? How can it unite Americans one moment and divide us the next?
Joe Nocera is an op-ed columnist for our partner The New York Times. He’s started a daily aggregation blog called the "Gun Report" at the Times which chronicles victims of gun violence in the United States.
Our Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, is filling in as host all this week. Follow Todd on Twitter for the latest from Capitol Hill.