Sen. Durbin on gun violence legislation: ‘I sense a change in the conversation’

Texas Sen. John Cornyn was authorized by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to open talks with Democrats to “negotiate the possibility of gun legislation that will spare us the tragedies we’ve seen,” Sen. Dick Durbin said.

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U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin speaks about gun violence during a news conference Friday afternoon at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin speaks about gun violence during a news conference Friday afternoon at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Friday in the wake of mass shootings in Buffalo and Texas that newly launched bipartisan negotiations with Sen. John Cornyn, D-Tx., might lead to legislation addressing gun violence.

“I sense a change in the conversation,” Durbin said at a press conference in Chicago.

On Thursday, Cornyn was authorized by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to open talks with Democrats to “negotiate the possibility of gun legislation that will spare us the tragedies we’ve seen,” Durbin said.

Cornyn, who traveled to Uvalde, Texas, after this week’s shooting, spoke about being there on the Senate floor. “It affected him personally,” Durbin said, adding that while he’s a patient and optimistic person, his “patience is running out. It’s time for us to do something.”

An 18-year-old man killed 19 students and two teachers Tuesday at an elementary school in Uvalde, and on May 14, in Buffalo, New York, another 18-year-old male slaughtered 10 people, all Black, in a grocery store, with authorities calling it a racially motivated crime.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin holds up a copy of the New York Times while speaking about gun violence during a news conference Friday afternoon at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Nineteen kids and two teachers were killed Tuesday in a mass shooting by an 18-year-old at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin holds up a copy of the New York Times while speaking about gun violence during a news conference Friday afternoon at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Nineteen kids and two teachers were killed Tuesday in a mass shooting by an 18-year-old at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Durbin was joined by Thomas Stanley, president and CEO of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, as well as Chicago youth leaders.

Durbin’s office announced Friday the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Durbin chairs, will hold a hearing June 15 to discuss gun violence and how it impacts children.

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