The United States continues to grapple with an ongoing epidemic of gun violence that so far this year has claimed 9,403 deaths (excluding suicides), according to the Gun Violence Archive. Despite this billowing casualty count, the Trump administration and Republicans keep dragging their feet. This week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued another public statement (posted to Twitter) imploring GOP leaders like President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to act to stop the violence. Despite pressure to act more quickly, McConnell has refused to bring Senators back to D.C. from their August recess to vote on already House-passed legislation establishing universal background checks for gun sales.
‘I pray that the President will listen to the 90 percent of the American people who support universal background checks. Once again, I call upon the President to bring Senator McConnell back to Washington to immediately take up House-passed, bipartisan legislation to address this epidemic and to save lives.’
I pray that @realDonaldTrump will listen to the 90% of Americans who support universal background checks & call on the President to bring @SenateMajLdr McConnell back to DC to take up House-passed, bipartisan legislation, #HR8, to address this epidemic. https://t.co/uw6Nl1awtZ
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 19, 2019
The legislation that she’s referring to here has been passed for months — but the Senate, as led by McConnell, has not acted. There’s still an open-ended question of what he’s actually going to do — he says he’ll be tasking Republican committee chairs with coming up with something rather than simply taking up the already passed background check legislation from the House. Trump, meanwhile, is in no hurry either, recently telling reporters that “we already have a lot of background checks.”
Although that might be technically true, there are still numerous loopholes through which one could obtain a high-powered gun without going through a background check. Pelosi mentions some of these, including “sales made over the Internet, at gun shows and person-to-person.” All of these kinds of sales are covered by already passed House Democratic legislation on background checks.
Besides this push, House Democrats have also taken up another push for an assault weapons ban. In a recent mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, a gunman killed nine people in less than a minute, firing more than a round a second. The new assault weapons ban has the support of about 200 House members — including one Republican, New York’s Pete King — but the full House has not yet voted on that.
Check out Twitter’s response to Pelosi…
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