ANALYSIS – The Senate now appears set to pass reasonable and bipartisan gun safety legislation. And this is a very good thing.
This is due to key Republican support for the measures which include providing billions of dollars in mental health grants to states, restricting gun buying for convicted domestic abusers and individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders, and strengthening background checks for gun buyers between the ages of 18 and 21.
The bipartisan framework gained momentum after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) endorsed it Tuesday.
Ten other Senate Republicans, led by Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), the chief Republican negotiator, have already signed onto the framework.
While some leftist activists see this as a win for gun control, it isn’t.
These common-sense gun safety measures are a far cry from banning guns, banning AR-15 style rifles, or ‘high capacity’ magazines, as the radical left wants.
Republicans rightly rejected all Democratic proposals to restrict gun ownership, including universal background checks, banning people between the ages of 18 and 21 from buying AR-15-style rifles and a 21-day waiting period for 18- to 21-year-olds for all gun purchases.
What they backed are reasonable ideas that will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals, domestic abusers and mentally ill individuals and boost funding for mental health treatment, which is the root cause of most mass shootings.
Some of these popular proposals, which I back, were included in the thoughtful column written by actor Matthew McConaughey which I wrote about here.
The Hill reported that:
McConnell said a poll of gun owners presented by Cornyn at the Republican lunch on Tuesday showed “support for the provisions of the framework is off the charts” and “overwhelming.”
The GOP leader specifically highlighted the proposal in the framework to give the National Instant Criminal Background Check System access to the juvenile crime records of gun buyers between 18 and 21 years old, praising it as “a step in the right direction.”
As for the more controversial ‘Red-Flag’ laws. Per my comments in my earlier piece, The Hill noted that:
Cornyn emphasized the legislation will not create a national red flag law to take guns away from people deemed a danger to their community. Instead, the bill would provide money to states to implement their own gun safety laws.
This is key. As I noted in my piece, I would support so-called ‘Red Flag’ provisions similar to the ones enacted by Republicans in Florida: “But only if it is done at the state and local level.”
As the 2nd Amendment states: Congress can pass no law to abridge our right to bear arms.
These court orders must also not have any connection to ‘no-fly’ or other government watch lists which are notoriously faulty.
And this current legislation avoids all that.
“Some have mischaracterized this provision as an incentive for states to pass a red-flag law, but that’s something I’m trying to avoid,” Cornyn said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “Congress should not only send federal funding to those states, but also other states that are doing things to deal with people in crisis.”
Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is laying low, saying it won’t take a position on the framework until it sees legislation. According to Cornyn, who has an A+ rating from the group, they did offer “suggestions, advice, I guess, or technical pointers” after members began drafting the legislation.
Republicans should back this gun safety framework because it’s good legislation, but it’s also good politics less than five months ahead of the midterms.
It’s an especially winning issue for suburban women, whom Republicans have struggled to appeal to in the last two election cycles and are rightfully fearful of their shootings at their kids’ school. ADN