U.S. Senate struggles to unite on guns after Texas massacre

STORY: "When will it end?"

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday pleaded with Republican lawmakers to pass legislation aimed at preventing the types of mass shootings that left 19 children and two teachers dead inside a Texas elementary school the day before.

Some of the proposals include so-called "red flag" laws that might prevent potential shooters from buying firearms, and expanded background checks for more gun purchases.

But less than a day after the latest massacre - the worst school shooting in a decade - Schumer plainly stated he saw odds of any action as "very slim.”

"My Republican colleagues can work with us now. I know this is a slim prospect. Very slim. All too slim. We've been burnt so many times before."

Mass shootings have killed hundreds of Americans. Gunmen have attacked schools, churches, synagogues, shopping centers, movie theaters, a country music festival, and even targeted Republican members of Congress playing baseball.

None of these prompted reform in the bitterly divided Congress. Republicans almost universally oppose new restrictions on guns.

"Our country is sickened, and outraged. "

In brief comments following Schumer, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell describes Tuesday's attack on Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas by an 18-year-old in tactical gear armed with an AR-15, as a "senseless evil," by a "maniac" but he did not mention any legislative action.

Gun-control advocates say they've waited too long, and seen too many lives lost in the face of Congressional gridlock.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Beto O'Rourke, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Texas, interrupted the Republican governor and other officials to confront them over loosening, rather than tightening, the state's gun laws.

"When are we going to do something?"

Another voice venting frustration, the the coach of the NBA's Golden State Warriors, who refused to talk about basketball at a pre-game news conference in Dallas on Tuesday.

"Enough. There’s 50 senators right now who refuse to vote on H.R.8, which is a background check rule that the house passed, a couple of years ago, it’s been sitting there for two years. And there’s a reason they won’t vote on it. To hold onto power."

Tuesday's mass murder comes just ten days after an avowed white supremacist stormed a Buffalo grocery store, murdering ten African-Americans.

The Senate will vote Thursday to begin debate on a bill seeking to thwart domestic terrorism that passed the Democratic-controlled House in the aftermath of the Buffalo shooting.

But in the evenly-divided Senate, Democrats would need support from at least 10 Republicans to meet the chamber's 60-vote threshold for most legislation.