The Republicans aren’t weak, or stupid, or cowards, or spineless. They know what they are doing. They want gun control as much as their Democrat pals but they can’t be open about it. They have to maintain the illusion that they are an opposition party for their rube constituents in flyover country.
It’s the Ruling Class versus the rest of us. Democrat and Republican are merely factions within it. None of them - none - are fit to live in a free society.