Amidst the multiple strings of mass shootings in the US, the clock is ticking on GOP Senators to pass reasonable gun regulations.
Mass shootings and senseless gun violence have been an epidemic in America for decades. This problem is unique only in this country as the right to bear arms is written in its constitution.
This one-line blurb was added to the US constitution in 1791, along with nine other amendments known as the Bill of Rights. Because it is a right, many US citizens still take it as a freedom to act recklessly and make guns the weapons of choice to commit mass murder.
Whereas nations globally see owning a gun as a privilege and not a right, requiring anyone wanting to purchase one to go through a strict process for acquisition. Unfortunately, in America, anyone can buy a gun without any real restrictions.
With the lack of commonsense gun laws such as background checks, raising the age limit, restrictions on high magazine firearms, and mental health checks before purchase, American guns invite mass shootings.
With every mass shooting, there are the politicians’ proverbial thoughts and prayers, but nothing gets done. It is not to say all elected officials are numb to mass shootings. Many proposed legislation passed in the US House of Congress mainly among party lines but died on the US Senate floor.
With the injection of massive campaign donations from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and gun lobbyists to predominantly Republican Senators and a couple of red democrats, they oppose any reasonable gun laws that will jeopardize future campaign donations.
Late Saturday evening, the Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer signaled, with the help of a few of his Republican colleagues, that they have the framework in place to pass meaningful gun legislation.
“Today’s announcement of a bipartisan gun-safety framework is a good first step to ending the persistent inaction to the gun violence epidemic that has plagued our country and terrorized our children for far too long. Once the text of this agreement is finalized, I will put this bill on the floor as soon as possible so that the Senate can act quickly to advance gun-safety legislation.
“As the author of the Brady-background checks bill, I am pleased that for the first time in nearly 30 years Congress is on the path to take meaningful action to address gun violence. I applaud Senators Chris Murphy, Kyrsten Sinema, John Cornyn, and Thom Tillis for their leadership in these discussions and the bipartisan group of Senators who worked in good faith to reach this agreement.
“This important legislation will limit the ability of potential mass shooters to quickly obtain assault rifles by establishing an enhanced background check process for gun purchasers under age 21, invest in the adoption and expansion of state red flag laws, close the boyfriend loophole, establish federal penalties for gun traffickers, and fund critical support services to help address our nation’s mental health crisis. After an unrelenting wave of gun-related suicides and homicides, including mass shootings, the Senate is poised to act on commonsense reforms to protect Americans where they live, where they shop, and where they learn. We must move swiftly to advance this legislation because if a single life can be saved it is worth the effort.” Said Senate Leader Chuck Schumer
The few Republicans in favour of supporting the bill are being praised for their efforts. However, the bill does not go far enough, nor is it as comprehensive as the one passed in the House of Representatives. And by the time the bill finally hits the Senate floor, it is expected to be so watered down it will have limited effects on gun control.