Continued from page 1

“Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas,” he said in an interview with The New Republic. “So it’s trying to bridge those gaps that I think is going to be part of the biggest task over the next several months. And that means that advocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes.”

Whatever the Senate manages to pass will undoubtedly face an even steeper climb getting through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin warned Sunday that the country should not revisit policies that have not worked in the past. Mrs. Feinstein’s original assault-weapons ban expired in 2004.

“Well, I think the question of whether or not a criminal is getting a gun is a question we need to look at,” Mr. Ryan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “That’s what the background-check issue is all about. And I think we need to look into making sure that there aren’t big loopholes where a person can illegally purchase a firearm. But I also think we need to look beyond just recycling failed policies of the past.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee Republican, argued that assault weapons don’t get to “the root of the problem.”

“Doing a so-called assault-weapons ban is going after a symptom,” she said on “Face the Nation.” “And, as teachers have said to me, ‘Don’t focus on whatever is the weapon; get to the root cause. Look at some of these mental health issues. Look at some of these drugs that are involved in this. Look at some of the violence that is permeating this society.’ Teachers, parents are all saying, you know, ‘You need to drill down on this a little deeper, be a little bit more thoughtful on it.’”

This article is based in part of wire service reports.