Gun control advocates will never wait a respectful time before pushing their agenda because they know that failure to act quickly is basically a failure to act. When people are upset and emotional is when they’re most likely to be open to gun control measures like assault weapon bans.
That’s likely why reports have surfaced that Democrats want to force a floor vote on an assault weapon ban here and now.
The problem is, it’s not likely to accomplish anything.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who has been an outspoken advocate for gun control since the Sandy Hook shootings in his state more than 10 years ago, has co-sponsored the current legislation — originally introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California — that would ban assault rifles. On Monday, Murphy suggested that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., should bring his legislation to the Senate floor and force a vote while the world is watching.
“I think America wants to see where people stand on some of these issues,” Murphy said.
Other Democrats also sounded calls for additional measures.
“We can’t say that we’ve solved this problem or even addressed it seriously when incidents like today in Nashville, Tennessee, continue in America,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on Monday. “We need to pass more reforms.”
Cornyn, who led GOP negotiations during the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, called Biden’s remarks “the same old tired talking points.”
The president was “not offering any new solutions or ideas,” Cornyn told CNN. “If he does, I think we should consider them, but so far, I haven’t heard anything.” Asked whether he believed there were Republican votes for further gun reform efforts, Cornyn said, “I do not.”
What people like Murphy seem to believe is that they can bully and shame Republicans into voting for things like assault weapon bans, likely because he thinks they all secretly agree with him that they’ll work.
They won’t and everyone on the Republican side of the aisle knows it. I suspect more than a few folks on the Democrats’ side do as well.
The truth of the matter is that what happened in Nashville may have involved a long gun, but I don’t see any way in which a ban on such firearms would have magically prevented that from happening. The killer also had a handgun, for example, which many do. I find it very hard to believe that such an atrocity couldn’t be carried out with just pistols.
Especially since the worst school shooting in modern American history–Virginia Tech–also involved handguns and not the dreaded AR-15.
So forcing a floor vote on an assault weapon ban wouldn’t accomplish much of anything. Even if it passed, it wouldn’t protect a single person from a mass shooting. All it would do is deprive millions of Americans of yet another piece of their Second Amendment rights.
And following Bruen, it’s unlikely that an assault weapon ban would survive the courts, so that’s probably for the best.
It’s just too bad that we don’t see this kind of discussion or debate surround literally any other aspect of mass shootings. It’s always about the tool and not the tool using it.