The US Supreme Court, which stands across the street from the US Capitol. (Image: AP/PTI)
Washington: The Senate on Thursday easily approved a bipartisan gun violence bill that seemed unthinkable a month ago, paving the way for final congressional approval of what will be the most far-reaching reaction from lawmakers in decades of brutal mass shootings in the country. Done.
After years of GOP procedural delays that derailed Democratic efforts to curb firearms, Democrats and some Republicans decided that congressional inaction was untenable after last month’s stampedes in New York and Texas.
Closed-door talks took weeks, but a group of senators from both sides emerged with a pact with the incremental but influential movement to stop the bloodshed, which has regularly come under shock – yet no longer surprising –. Nation.
The USD 13 billion measure will toughen background checks for the youngest gun buyers, keep firearms from more domestic violence perpetrators and help states enact red flag laws that make it easier for officers to take weapons from dangerous people . It will also fund local programs for school safety, mental health and violence prevention.
The election-year package fell far short of the more robust gun restrictions Democrats have demanded for years, including assault-type weapons used in the killings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas, and high-capacity ammunition magazines. restrictions are included.
Yet the agreement allowed leaders of both parties to declare victory and demonstrate to voters that they knew how to compromise and do government work, while also leaving room for each side to appeal to its original supporters.
“This is not a cure-all way gun violence affects our country,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., whose party has made gun restrictions a target for decades.
“But it’s a long overdue step in the right direction. Passing this gun safety bill is really important, and it’s going to save lives.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., of the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms driving many conservative voters, said, “The American people want their constitutional rights to be protected and their children to be safe in school.” “They want both of those things at once, and that’s the bill that’ll be in front of the Senate,” he said.
The day proved bitter for advocates to reduce gun violence. Underscoring the enduring power of conservative clout, the right-wing Supreme Court issued a ruling expanding Americans’ right to bear arms in public.
The judges struck down a New York law that requires people to prove needing to carry a weapon before they can be licensed to do so. The vote was 65–33 when it was final passed. Hours earlier, senators voted 65-34 to end a filibuster by conservative GOP senators. This was five more than the required 60-vote limit.
The House planned to vote on the measure on Friday and approval seemed certain. On that vote, 15 Senate Republicans joined all 50 Democrats, including two of their allies independents, in voting to move forward on the law.
Yet that vote highlighted the risks facing Republicans by defying the party’s pro-gun voters and firearms groups such as the National Rifle Association. sensor
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Todd Young of Indiana were the only two out of 15 for this fall. Of the rest, four are retiring and eight are not facing voters until 2026.
Clearly, GOP senators who voted “no” included potential 2024 presidential contenders such as Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Tim Scott of South Carolina. Some of the party’s most conservative members also voted “no”, including Sans Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah.
While the Senate measure was a clear success, the outlook for Congress’s continued movement to curb guns is dim. Less than a third of the 50 GOP senators in the Senate supported the measure, and solid Republican opposition in the House is certain.
Top House Republicans urged a “no” vote in an email from Louisiana’s No. 2 GOP leader, Representative Steve Scalis, who called the bill “an attempt to gradually take away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.” . After November’s midterm elections both houses – now controlled by Democrats – may well be run by the GOP.
In a statement, President Joe Biden said residents of Uvalde told him that Washington had to act.
“Our children in schools and in our communities will be safe because of this law. I call on Congress to finish the job and get this bill on its desk,” Biden said.
The Senate action comes a month after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers in Uvalde.
Days before that, a white man was accused of being motivated by racism after he murdered 10 black grocery shoppers in Buffalo. Both shooters were 18 years old, a youth profile shared by many of the mass shooters, and the close timing of the two killers and victims, with whom many could identify, provoked a demand for action by voters, with lawmakers from both parties. Told.
The talks were led by sans Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Kirsten Cinemas, D-Ariz., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Thom Tillis, R.N.C. Murphy represented Newtown, Connecticut, when an assailant killed 20 students and six employees at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, while Cornyn has been involved in previous gun talks following mass shootings in his state and McConnell’s. is close.
Also read: US will send $450 million in advanced rocket systems, military aid to Ukraine