Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma denies that he is part of a “gun gang,” despite reports that he and Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois are key members of a bipartisan working group on gun control that reportedly also includes Democrats Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Joe Manchin (W. Va.).
“There is no gun gang,” Coburn tells National Review Online.
Instead, Coburn suggests, his talks with other senators are more informal, and not part of a broader effort. He also plays down his role. “We’re just discussing, trying to solve the problem,” he says.
Gun advocates, for their part, say the buzz about a Senate-crafted compromise is overblown. “You have 20 Democrats up for reelection in the Senate,” says Grover Norquist, a board member at the National Rifle Association. Vulnerable Democrats, he says, are not pushing for a vote.
President Obama’s latest remarks on gun control, made at the State of the Union, “put other Democrats in danger, particularly in the Senate,” Norquist adds. “People are going to lose elections because they thought about gun control.”