WASHINGTON -- Four days after a mass shooting at a community college in Oregon, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) questioned lawmakers' willingness to act to prevent similar attacks in the future.
"A broken heart really isn’t enough, is it?" Reid asked on the Senate floor Monday evening.
Reid expressed sorrow over the attack on Umpqua Community College -- which left 10 people dead, including the gunman -- but charged that the U.S. has become "desensitized" to such killings. He added that the reality of gun violence across the country "is not only shocking, it’s pathetic."
"If we don’t take action, we are equally responsible for these innocent deaths as the sick individuals who plot and carry out these horrific massacres," Reid said. "I’ve started to reach out to senators and talking about what can be done to advance the cause of background checks while Republicans are in charge for next year or so. But one thing is clear, to pass background checks, we need Republicans to stop acting as puppets for the NRA."
Last week's shooting is the 45th to happen at a school in 2015. There are bills in both the House and Senate that would expand background checks for gun purchases, but they have either failed to get a vote or have come short of the number needed for passage.
In the upper chamber, Sen. Joe Manchin's (D-W.Va.) office said after the Oregon shooting that the senator isn't planning to reintroduce his bill, which he co-sponsored with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).