If our elected representatives can’t agree on reasonable gun control measures, it is time they are replaced with men and women who can. This isn’t a complex issue. To the contrary, it’s a simple one. The Second Amendment does not provide an unfettered right to guns. Full stop. Reasonable restrictions on who may purchase firearms makes sense. No, such measures may not stop another mass shooting, but they may make it more difficult to obtain the needed firearm to carry out such a deadly act. To be clear, no one–and I mean no one–is suggesting that restrictions on purchasing firearms will eliminate gun-related deaths or injuries. And no one is talking about taking away the guns that people already have. But common sense regulations? That is something everyone should be able to get on board with regardless of party-affiliation.
WASHINGTON — The Senate on Monday failed to advance four separate measures aimed at curbing gun sales, the latest display of congressional inaction after a mass shooting.
Eight days after a gunman claiming allegiance to the Islamic State killed 49 people in an Orlando, Fla., nightclub, the Senate deadlocked, largely along party lines, on amendments to block people on the federal terrorism watch list from buying guns and to close loopholes in background check laws. Families of gun violence victims looked on from the Senate chamber as the votes were held.
Further action on gun safety measures or mental health provisions seemed unlikely before the fall election, given the rush to finish a series of spending bills and the relatively limited time that Congress will be in session before November.
In addition, the four gun measures were attached to legislation that contains several other thorny issues, such as the question of whether to take passports away from terrorism suspects, which suggests there will be little chance for further debate.
Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, has been working on a compromise, disliked by both party leaders, that would bar the sale of guns to terrorism suspects who appear on either the government’s no-fly list or the so-called selectee list of people who receive additional scrutiny at airports. That bill, which is not as broad as the Democratic watch-list measure that failed on Monday, could surface later in the week.
Partisanship and the power of the gun lobby played a large role in the amendments’ failure. Democrats structured their bills in a way that was almost certain to repel Republicans, while Republicans responded with bills equally distasteful to Democrats.
— Senate Rejects 4 Measures to Control Gun Sales, The New York Times, June 20, 2016.