Republicans, says Dickerson, are likely to answer with a cultural debate -- if we didn't have such mixed-up kids, they wouldn't be looking so hard for guns in the first place -- and the small-government line that the answer isn't more laws but better enforcement of the ones we have. (The long guns used by Harris and Klebold were legal and still would be; the TEC-9 was purchased illegally anyway.) Debate on the measures could begin next week; expect to hear plenty about those 13 crosses (and a smattering about Doom and Marilyn Manson). It's likely to play out much as Littleton has: without much of a resolution. "The Republicans are sensitive enough to let some of the small stuff go through," says Dickerson. "But the floodgates aren't likely to be opened."
WASHINGTON: Lined up in front of the microphones like the 13 crosses outside Columbine High, Senate Democrats on Thursday put forward their prescription for violence in America: more gun-control laws. The proposals sound a lot like those put forward by President Clinton: more three-day waiting periods, less gun-sale loopholes, more restrictions on juvenile gun ownership, and criminalizing parents whose kids get trigger-happy with Dad's .22. "These proposals have been around for a while," says TIME congressional correspondent John Dickerson. "But the Democratic advocates are hoping that after Littleton, now is the time to finally get some of them passed."