The Problems That Come With Do Something About Guns

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Before we knew the identity of the murderer of 19 children at Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, Texas, two adults, and two others, Sen. Chris Murphy was engaged in his usual performative emotionalism on the Senate floor, literally asking Republicans for “compromise.”

What compromise? Murphy has never offered any proposal that would deter these mass shooters. Murphy was asked, literally minutes after his routine, about the mental illness that is most common among these shooters. “Spare the bulls–about mental illness,” Murphy replied, “ripping” at the GOP. He is so serious about compromise.

These incidents, regardless of whether America is more susceptible to mental illness or less, are almost entirely perpetrated in America by young men who have displayed serious antisocial behavior. They all violate a variety of laws. They all have guns that they obtained illegally or legally before any criminal convictions. Many, if not all, of these shooters, are already on the radar of the police because they have threatened others or written violent manifestos. The Secret Service studied mass shootings between 2008 and 2017, finding that 100 percent of perpetrators displayed concerning behavior, and that at least one person, most often a friend, knew about the plan in 77 percent.

Instead of focusing on these entry points to potentially useful legislation, instead, Senate Democrats were busy blaming Republicans for not supporting bills that had absolutely nothing to do with mass shootings.

Sen. Chuck Schumer had planned to introduce H.R. 8 an expanded background check bill. H.R. 1446, which would close the “Charleston Loophole”, an expanded background check bill. (Before he realized it wouldn’t be politically feasible). “Alleged” because Dylann Roof killed nine black churchgoers in Charleston in 2015 and received a clean background check. This was not due to any “loophole”, but because local prosecutors failed to respond to the FBI request for information. It was either human error or negligence. So maybe Democrats should be promoting a “law-enforcement-should-do-its-job” bill. Because “universal” background checks only stop family members and friends from gifting guns. As Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Murphy know, straw purchases are already illegal. Passing expanded background checks following a school shooting would be equivalent to requiring stricter driver tests after a hit-and-run.

Democrats are still obsessed with irrelevant issues such as AR-15s or “universal background check” and they are living in the 1990s. The address of President Joe Biden to the nation was a collection of hackneyed talking points that he has been repeating for decades, including the absurd joke about Kevlar deer. Biden repeated the question, “As a nation, we must ask, when in God’s name will we stand up to the gun lobby?”

Democrats love to attack the “gun lobby”, a strawman that they claim is a group of gun owners. Although the National Rifle Association’s power has been declining over the decades, it could be gone tomorrow without affecting gun policy in any way. Either another organization — likely a more rigid one — would emerge, or gun owners and Second Amendment supporters (we are in the midst of the largest expansion in gun ownership in American History) would continue to vote for politicians who oppose restrictions on peaceful gun ownership.

Republicans will be confronted with an endless stream of absurd smears. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, a Democrat, tweeted, “It is not possible to be pro-life while supporting laws that allow children to be shot in schools, elders in grocery shops, worshippers in churches, survivors of abusers, or anyone else in a crowded area.”

This is a clear example of the kind of absurd accusation being made these days. It seems that liberals who accuse Republicans of aiding infanticide on the internet are not interested in compromise. I don’t know any Republican who supports elementary school children being gunned down, unlike Ocasio-Cortez who advocates laws that allow people to terminate the lives of the viable unborn.

Law-abiding Americans are not required to own the actions of madmen. They are not required to give up their right to self-defense in order to limit gun ownership. Chris Murphy has made many comments that show this. He has the right to do so. He should work to repeal the Second Amendment. However, Democrats who are interested in genuine compromise might be more open to realistic, productive, and relevant ideas until then.