Democrats Announce Background Check Legislation After Boulder Shooting

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This just might be the right time. We despaired after the Sandy Hook shootings that murdered so many innocent unlived lives of children not so far from babies. Last week, a man wrongly said he was trying to eliminate the source of his sex addiction by killing Asian women. A man in Las Vegas shot 867 people attending a music concert, 60 died. Monday, a shooter entered a Boulder, Colorado grocery store and shot 10 people dead. Congress just might do something this time, but why can they now?

 

When President Barack Obama was in office in 2009, he had a Democratic-led Senate, House, and the filibuster. He was concentrated on his historic Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Then in 2012, the Republicans took the House, effectively ending any hope of passing a sensible gun law.

But change is in the air. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) has been on a roll. Tuesday, he claimed that the Senate would take up the issue of gun violence:

‘The Senate is going to debate and address the epidemic of gun violence in this country. We have a lot of work to do.’

‘I’ve already committed to bringing universal background checks legislation to the floor of the Senate. There is a hearing today in the Senate Judiciary Committee under Chairman [Dick] Durbin’s leadership to examine several commonsense proposals.’

One of the biggest hurdles has been that there are two completely separate and diverse gun issues. First, there is the problem of hunters and people who feel a need to protect themselves with a gun to legally own them. The second problem is that an unbalanced person, mostly male, can buy a gun and go people hunting all in one day. They can carry long guns made for the military in public and turn at any moment.

The House passed background check legislation this month. Plus, Schumer promised to bring that legislation to the Senate floor now that former Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stepped into the second position. The question of when the Democrats will address the Jim Crow era filibuster problem may insert itself here. But Democrats must deal with the two separate branches of the gun issue, too.

Schumer said:

‘This Senate will be different.’

Representative Jason Crow (D-CO) told CNN:

‘Nobody can ever say that any one (sic) law or policy will prevent a specific shooting. I’ve never heard anybody ever say that passing common-sense gun violence prevention legislation is going to prevent every shooting and is going to make us perfectly safe. That’s not true. But it will make us a lot safer. When we have almost 40,000 Americans die a year because of gun violence, there is a tremendous amount of room for improvement.’

After the 2019 shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, the GOP-led Senate looked at gun reforms. McConnell (R-KY) told a local Kentucky radio station:

“Background checks and red flags will probably lead the discussion.’

When the Senate tried to carry through, Donald Trump’s Attorney General William Barr blocked the doorway. Then, the Democrats had the Senate in 2013, but background checks failed. Although four Republicans voted for it, four red-state Democrats walked over to the Republican side.

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