Within the wake of a number of high-profile mass shootings, Democrats are pushing for the Senate to cross an assault weapons ban earlier than Republicans take management of the Home in January.
Final Thursday, President Joe Biden renewed his call for Congress to cross an assault weapons ban after shootings at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, and at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, left 11 useless and dozens injured. There have been over 600 mass shootings within the U.S. this yr, in line with the Gun Violence Archive, placing 2022 on track to grow to be the second-highest yr for gun violence on document.
“The concept we nonetheless permit semi-automatic weapons to be bought is sick. It’s simply sick. It has no, no social redeeming worth, zero, none. Not a single solitary rationale for it besides income for gun producers,” Biden mentioned. “I’m going to attempt. I’m going to attempt to eliminate assault weapons.”
The Home handed an assault weapons ban earlier this yr that will ban the sale, switch, manufacturing and importing of sure military-style assault weapons which have grow to be the weapon of alternative for a lot of mass shooters. The invoice would nonetheless permit folks to maintain weapons they already personal, however might forestall shooters from obtaining guns simply earlier than finishing up a taking pictures, as many shooters have accomplished, together with the Walmart gunman.
Nonetheless, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) predicted over the weekend that Democrats wouldn’t have the votes to beat a filibuster within the Senate, seemingly marking one other potentially life-saving bill stopped in its tracks by the archaic rule.
“I’m glad that President (Joe) Biden is gonna be pushing us to take a vote on an assault weapons ban,” Murphy mentioned in a CNN interview on Sunday. “Does it have 60 votes within the Senate proper now? In all probability not. However let’s see if we are able to attempt to get that quantity as near 60 as potential.”
“If we don’t have the votes, then we’ll speak to [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer and perhaps come again subsequent yr, with perhaps an extra senator, and see if we are able to do higher,” he went on.
He mentioned that lawmakers want to debate the truth that there are many counties where right-wing regulation enforcement officers aren’t implementing state or federal gun restrictions, together with within the Colorado county the place the anti-LGBTQ taking pictures came about. He additionally advised refusing to ship federal funding to such counties.
The subsequent few weeks may very well be Democrats’ final likelihood to cross an assault weapons ban for at the very least two years. Republicans, who have a close relationship with the gun foyer, are unlikely to cross an assault weapons ban within the Home, which they are slated to control by a slim majority within the upcoming Congress; even when just a few Republicans would vote for the invoice if it got here to the ground, as two Republicans did earlier this yr, it’s unlikely that Republican leaders would bring the ban to a vote within the first place.
Biden had urged the Senate to cross the assault weapons ban after it was handed by the Home in July following a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and a racist taking pictures in Buffalo, New York, in Might, which left a complete of over 30 folks useless, together with 19 kids.
On the time, the White Home launched a press release of administration coverage — which carries extra weight than a easy public assertion — pointing to the discount in gun deaths within the 10 years following the 1994 assault weapons ban. “For these 10 years, mass shootings declined. When the ban expired in 2004, mass shootings tripled,” the assertion learn.
Congress elevated its scrutiny of gun producers following this summer time’s shootings, and the Home Oversight Committee discovered in a report that main gun firms have revamped $1 billion in income on gross sales of assault weapons over the past 10 years. Such firms have offered the weapons behind notorious shootings like the varsity shootings in Uvalde and Parkland, Florida; the Las Vegas bloodbath in 2017; and the mass killing at a homosexual nightclub in Florida in 2016.
These producers are more and more advertising to younger folks, creating “a gun violence epidemic by liberalizing markets and aggressively pursuing income,” as Jonathan Ng wrote for Truthout earlier this yr. Mass shooters are sometimes younger; the anti-LGBTQ Colorado Springs shooter is 22, whereas the Uvalde shooter purchased the weapons that he would use to bloodbath kids shortly after his 18th birthday.