Sen. Ed Markey says the NRA's vice-like grip over President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is to blame in large part for the lack of action on gun legislation in the Senate.
After mass shootings this weekend in El Paso and Dayton, local leaders say it's time for the states to take action.
For Rep. Marjorie Decker of Cambridge, who has taken a lead on state gun laws, that means action.
"I no longer go straight to sadness," she said. "I go to anger and to determination."
Decker says there is strong support nationwide for universal background checks and banning assault weapons.
"It's not rocket science," she said. "We know how to reduce gun violence and gun homicides."
So she was disappointed that the president did not address those options when he spoke earlier Monday.
"Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun," Trump said.
"The president wants to blame mental illness, but you also have to take into account the availability of these guns," Markey said.
Markey added that Trump may not have carried out the weekend violence, "but his hate-filled ideas were pervasive in its motivation. For that, he is morally responsible."
The president strongly denounced the shooter's alleged motivations.
"In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy," Trump said. "These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America."
But Decker says nobody is buying it.
"He is a bigot. He is a racist. He is a misogynist. And he is using this platform to encourage that," she said. "Nobody believes that he's sorry."
Those pushing for stricter gun laws say there is hope, pointing to 22 states that have passed 47 gun safety laws since last year's shooting in Parkland, Florida.