At a recent House Judiciary Committee hearing dealing with proposed gun safety legislation in the aftermath of yet another wave of devastating gun violence, including the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where 21 people including 19 kids were killed, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) dubiously claimed Democrats were rushing to action. He remarked:
‘No one wants another tragedy, no one wants this to happen again. That’s why it’s regretful that Democrats have rushed to a markup today in what seems more like political theater than a real attempt at improving public safety or finding solutions. The Democrats never once reached out to us to seek our input on the legislation we are considering here today. Protecting children is not a Republican or Democrat issue… What we are doing is just designed to appeal to Democratic primary voters.’
Jordan cited, among other points of contention, the fact that the legislation succeeding in the Senate seemed unlikely as supposed evidence for the overly politicized nature of what was going on. Because certain members of the Senate don’t seem to take their legislative responsibilities as seriously as others, does that mean that members across both chambers of Congress should just… take a step back? Obviously not. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) was among those who provided pointed rebuttals to the arguments Jordan made. Actually, Cohen outlined, the push for common-sense gun control has been building at a substantial scale across the nation — legislative pushes for these measures aren’t the result of a rush. As Cohen said:
‘The Democrats are not rushing to anything. The public is demanding that we take action because they’ve seen what happened in Uvalde, Texas; they’ve seen what happened in Buffalo; they’ve seen what happened last night in Tulsa. It is happening all too often, and it’s deadly. Assault weapons were banned from 1994 to 2004; it was constitutionally permissible. It wasn’t until 2008 and the Heller decision, when Justice [Antonin] Scalia said that people had a right based on the Second Amendment to protect their homes with reasonable weapons, and said that that was not something that would prohibit government from having more restrictive laws on people who had mental health problems and/or people who had criminal backgrounds or other possible changes in the law.’
Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas) also shot down Jordan’s nonsense about Democrats supposedly rushing to action on gun control. “No, this is not rushing. No, it’s not premature,” Garcia remarked, before later adding: “We stand to act for the people, not gun interests. We have been consistent, we are not rushing. We have already passed some bills. They’re all solutions, they are not premature. We have passed reforms and measures to ensure that we’re protecting our communities, and most especially, our little children, our angels.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) — who somehow just about always sounds historically arrogant — complained during the same House hearing that Democrats supposedly “want fewer guns” and that’s what’s “creating a lot of discomfort among our fellow Americans who cherish their guns and cherish their Second Amendment rights.” “Do they cherish their children?” Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) asked. Gaetz claimed in response that “their children aren’t the ones at risk as a consequence of law-abiding gun owners” — whatever that means. It’s worth noting: until the day the Uvalde shooting took place, the attacker was apparently “law-abiding.” He legally purchased a weapon used in the shooting, meaning there’s clearly an opportunity for policy change, and the argument that “law-abiding” gun owners will save the day — or whatever — just doesn’t work. “All children in America are at risk!” Cicilline reminded Gaetz.
“We don’t think that in the name of saving one life that fundamentally constraining the rights of all Americans is necessary,” Gaetz added of Republicans. Well, that’s the GOP game right there — if something can be constrained as potentially infringing on intangible rights, a concept dependent in significant part (although obviously not completely) on shifting legal interpretation, they won’t support it if it could protect life — at least according to Gaetz’s telling. “Spare me the bullshit about constitutional rights,” Cicilline remarked to Gaetz at one point in the House judiciary proceedings, per CNN’s Manu Raju. “You know who didn’t have due process? You know who didn’t have their constitutional right to life respected? The kids at Parkland, and Sandy Hook, and Uvalde and Buffalo, and the list goes on and on,” Cicilline added to Gaetz this week.
“You know who didn't have due process? You know who didn't have their constitutional right to life respected? The kids at Parkland, and Sandy Hook, and Uvalde and Buffalo, and the list goes on and on,” Cicilline said
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) June 2, 2022