Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell defends the Senate filibuster

mitch mcconnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged Democrats to stop considering abolishing the filibuster Thursday, arguing "America needs the Senate to be the Senate" in a New York Times op-ed.

The state of play: The Kentucky senator, responding to calls to from his predecessor Harry Reid and a number of 2020 contenders to end the filibuster to move forward Democratic proposals on gun control and climate change, said it was "their half-baked proposals and not the centuries-old wisdom that need retooling."

Mass shootings persist, gun violence research stalls

Reproduced from Stark et al., 2017, "Funding and Publication of Research on Gun Violence and Other Leading Causes of Death"; Chart: Axios Visuals

A chronic lack of gun violence research and data inaccuracies have hindered change to gun laws in the U.S., multiple scientific reports show.

Why it matters: Scientists and members of Congress have been working to boost gun control research amid persistent mass shootings. Increased funding for research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could help social scientists, law enforcement and policymakers understand the causes of shootings, according to nonprofit news organization The Trace.