Well, that didn’t take long. Only one day after the mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, President Joe Biden hastened to push Congress to pass gun control legislation. His remarks further ignited the debate over firearms that began five seconds after reports of the latest shooting surfaced.
The Wall Street Journal reported: “Mr. Biden urged Congress to pass legislation approved by the House earlier this month that would among other things expand background checks. He also called on Congress to ban assault-style weapons such as the kind used by the Boulder, Colo., suspect, who was identified Tuesday as 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa.”
The Monday shooting, which claimed the lives of 10 people, occurred less than a week after another shooter killed eight people at three spas in Atlanta, Georgia. The two incidents brought the debate over the Second Amendment back into the spotlight.
“I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common sense steps that will save lives in the future,” Biden said.
Biden’s remarks elicited criticism from those who point out that the president’s gun agenda would not have stopped either of the shootings. “Every time there’s a shooting we play this ridiculous theater where this committee gets together and proposes a bunch of laws that would do nothing to stop these murders,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). “What happens in this committee after every mass shooting is Democrats propose taking away guns from law-abiding citizens because that’s their political objective.”
On Tuesday, Senate Democrats announced they would consider legislation that would “expand background checks to nearly all gun sales and extend the window for background checks to 10 days from three days, with the goal of flagging people with criminal or mental-health histories that disqualify them from gun ownership,” according to the Journal.
However, the Democrats’ radical anti-gun agenda might have trouble in the Senate, which is split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats. Without at least 10 Republicans, the bill is doomed to fail.
Nevertheless, the Democrats are still trying to exploit the mass shootings. High-profile Democrats have been using the incidents to push for ending the filibuster and ramming through anti-gun legislation. (See: Democrats Using Mass Shootings To Push For Killing The Filibuster)
“If the filibuster is the only thing that stops a wildly popular proposal from becoming law, then…it should be part of the conversation as to why the rules need to change,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) who also indicated he is speaking with both Democratic and Republican colleagues to hammer out an agreement.
According to the Journal, “the White House didn’t elaborate on which executive actions the president is contemplating, but press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration was looking to ‘address not just gun safety measures but violence in communities.’”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated that the upper chamber would vote on the legislation, but did not say when. He also gave no indication as to whether Democrats would try to lower the threshold for passing bills to a simple majority if they cannot reach an agreement.
At first glance, this might seem like the usual scenario we see after a mass shooting. We’ve done this dance many times before, haven’t we?
But this time, it might be different.
Usually Democrats’ attempts to impose sweeping gun legislation to make it harder for law-abiding Americans to buy firearms get watered down or altogether rejected. But this time, while it might seem to be destined for failure in the Senate, it is important to remember that in this era of American politics, Democrats are willing to do go as far as possible to achieve their objectives.
We should not assume that they will refrain from trying to lower the threshold to a simple majority and eliminate the filibuster to ensure their policies are passed. The left has already shown they are open to using extreme measures like packing the courts to get their way. At this point, Republican voters must be willing to hold their lawmakers accountable and let them know their political futures will be cut short if they fail to stop the anti-gun lobby in Congress.