A deadly shooting in the heart of the nation's capital has reignited talk about guns, but it's unclear whether the tragedy will revive a legislative debate that has gone cold.

Family members of Navy Yard complex employees gather outside a parking lot that was converted to a point of reunion at Nationals Park (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The case for increased gun control has become increasingly difficult. Just last week, Colorado voters recalled two state legislators who voted for stricter gun laws. President Barack Obama, meanwhile, has been powerless to pass tougher gun laws in Congress.

As Senate office buildings were closed to visitors Monday following the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, lawmakers from both sides of the debate offered sympathy for the victims. For Obama, it was at least the seventh mass shooting of his presidency, and he lamented the loss of life while speaking at the White House.

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