The gun debate continues to get a lot of attention in the media, not yet drowned out by the daily drumbeat of scandals and outrages coming from the the Trump White House (Hope Hicks quits; Jeff Sessions hits back at a Trump insult; Kushner got big loans from companies he met with in an official capacity–it’s exhausting).
Ever more bizarre, Trump held a bi-partisan meeting on guns today in which he veered way left, wondering out loud if universal background checks weren’t such a bad idea, and chastising Republican congressmen for being afraid of the NRA. It was quite a spectacle, but it’s still not clear that Trump is capable of anything beyond theater. Will anything tangible come of his meeting? Who knows.
Meanwhile, many Republican politicians are feeling tremendous pressure to do something on guns, and they seem more open than ever to some sort of action. But we can’t be fooled by their seeming openness. It’s still going to be a tough battle. Just yesterday Republicans in the New York State Senate blocked four common-sense gun control bills sponsored by Democrats.
The gun control proposals being discussed in the media and in Congress seem to fall into two categories: substantive and trivial. No surprise, the Republicans are mostly focused on the trivial. They want to abolish bump-stocks because few people care about them, and they want to raise the minimum age for the purchase of an assault-style rifle to twenty-one because it’s an easy gesture. Both of these moves are necessary, but they are mostly fig leafs hiding a desperate unwillingness to do anything that might hurt the NRA.
Substantive change would include a total ban on weapons of war, comprehensive background checks on ALL purchases of firearms, and the ability of law enforcement to restrict fire-arm purchases for anyone with recent domestic violence or mental problems.
Here is a link to a recent interview with Rep John Faso on the subject of gun control. In his typical weasel way, he pushes for the trivial changes but won’t go further.
Let’s not forget that Faso also co-sponsored the noxious Concealed Carry Act, which has passed the House but not yet the Senate. We deserve a Rep who doesn’t pretend to sound responsible to his voters while protecting his NRA overlords. Faso’s full embrace of guns and the NRA are several of the many reasons we should repeal and replace him. Keep resisting…