Universal Background Checks For Gun Purchases Sought After Shooting


Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) spoke in favor this week of voting in the Senate on measures like universal background checks for gun purchases and restrictions on assault weapons, both representing areas of particular concern for activists and others seeking action on the problem in the United States with gun violence.

“At some point we should talk about putting votes on the floor,” Murphy said, according to reporter Andrew Desiderio. “I think America wants to see where people stand on some of these issues—whether it’s universal background checks or assault weapons.” President Joe Biden, for his part, supports a national ban on assault weapons. The precedent that has been established in places like Illinois shows that such restrictions could be implemented without necessarily conducting confiscations if those possessing the newly restricted weapons register the firearms with the appropriate authorities and otherwise abide by restrictions established for the weapons’ use.

“You know, the shooter in this situation reportedly had two assault weapons and a pistol,” Biden said Monday. “So I call on Congress, again, to pass my assault weapons ban. It’s about time that we begin to make some more progress.” The attacker in a Monday mass shooting in Nashville was killed on the scene and was initially misidentified as an apparent teenage girl who it turns out was actually in their late 20s. The incident took place at a private school, and three children and three adults were killed, besides the shooter.

Others to have prominently pushed for specifically federal action include the mayor of Highland Park, whose Illinois community saw a mass shooting during their parade last year for July 4 and who later participated in the public roll-out of the state’s ban on assault weapons.

And in Nashville Monday, Ashbey Beasley, a woman who said she survived the attack in Highland Park and just happened to be near the scene of this new atrocity, also delivered what turned out to be a televised call to action. She walked up to a staging area established for a press conference about the incident, saying: “These mass shootings will continue to happen until our lawmakers step up and pass gun safety legislation.” Beasley said she had personally joined advocacy to legislators since surviving the attack in Illinois. In the Senate, the infamous filibuster rules would generally apply to proposals on gun policy, although state Democrats like those leading Michigan have presided over their own progress like setting up those universal background checks.