"This is not a war on guns. Gun owners and hunters across this country have every right to own legitimate guns for legitimate purposes and our Democratic Caucus is not declaring a war on guns and we're not gonna try and take law-abiding citizens' guns away from them and nor has anyone even suggested that. But we also know and I also know that our communities and our neighborhoods and our society receive no benefit from military-type assault weapons on the street or assault clips in the hands of anyone."
-Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Even as most Republicans played it safe and initially said little about the politically treacherous issue of gun control, a senior GOP senator has called for a study of both gun violence and mental health issues.
Sen. Charles Grassley made his suggestion as formerly pro-gun Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday it's now time to place gun control on the table.
And National Rifle Association member Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, agreed it's time to debate gun legislation.
It's too early to say what could emerge next year in Congress, but the comments of Grassley, Reid and Manchin are significant. Grassley is senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Reid sets the Senate schedule. And Manchin defied the NRA.