>> If you thought the Parkland shooting felt like a game changer for the gun debate in America, you may be right. A handful of vulnerable Republicans facing tough re-elections for Congress have quietly shifted their positions on gun control. National Affairs Reporter Julia Hart.>> Reuters examined the public statements made by Republican lawmakers who are defending their seats in some of the most competitive Congressional races this year and found that after the Parkland shooting, many of those lawmakers had actually endorsed new gun control measures.
We examined 18 lawmakers, 11 Republican incumbents, in very close competitive races, and seven who were in the safest seats according to three independent political analysis groups. Lawmakers in competitive seats were more prone to embrace new gun control restriction, and lawmakers in safe seats very close by were not.
>> It's because I'm a political outsider->> Nebraskas's representative Don Bacon, California's Dana Rohrabacher, and Florida's Carlos Curbelo all have A ratings from the NRA on gun rights. But since Parkland, they've all adjusted their positions. Florida's Curbelo has gone the furthest saying he favors raising the age of purchase for rifles, and banning purchases of military style weapons overall.
>> Outside strategists seem to view Parkland as a much more galvanizing event in terms of gun control than previous mass shootings. The members of Congress who have shifted their stances following the Parkland shooting, however, might not agree with that. One Congressman, Don Bacon from Nebraska, told me that it's not for him about winning re-election, it's just about doing the right thing.
>> The emergence of a more pro-gun control Republican wing, at least until the November mid-terms, could pressure House Speaker Paul Ryan to advance gun control measures that are broadly supported by the American public but which have languished in Congress. For many Republicans, 2018 is a struggle for survival as the rules they've always played by appear to be rapidly changing.