Why now? How four senators finally got a gun deal no one thought was possible

(Photo: Anthony Quintano / CC BY 2.0)

NEW YORK (CNN) — Thursday night, both Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer had reason to celebrate. After decades of inaction on gun legislation, the two men were able to achieve something that neither had imagined possible just weeks before: a compromise on gun safety legislation brokered by four members they’d each given their blessing to negotiate.

For McConnell, the effort on guns was an opportunity to make changes to school security and mental health, which he viewed as the root of the problem, and shore up some support for suburban voters Republicans had suffered losses with in the last election.
It was a rare move for McConnell to announce support for bipartisan talks that would likely divide his Republican conference just months before the midterms, but McConnell acknowledged Thursday in a call with reporters that he also saw a political upside to engaging in the talks.
For Schumer, the vote Thursday night was the culmination of an early decision to hold off on a partisan show vote in hopes — no matter how slight they were — that he could see a bipartisan gun safety bill pass under his leadership as majority leader.
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