AP Photo/Paul Sancya
Global warming? What global warming? Carbon footprint be damned, dozens of members of Moms Demand Action, along with Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio are on a 376-mile trip from Ryan’s hometown of Niles, Ohio to Louisville, Kentucky, home to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in an effort to push the Kentucky senator towards votes on a variety of gun control laws.
It’s been 150+ days since the House passed 2 comprehensive gun reform bills & Mitch McConnell still has done nothing. That’s unacceptable.
Tomorrow, I’ll be leading a caravan through OH to our rally in KY to demand action from Sen. McConnell. Join us in one of our stops below:
— Congressman Tim Ryan (@RepTimRyan) August 8, 2019
I’m kidding about the carbon footprint thing, by the way. While climate change may have been the cause du jour last week, and certainly will be again soon, this week Democrats are all in for gun control. Crank the A/C down to 65, hop in a gas-guzzling SUV, stop off for some burgers made with real meat instead of soy, and don’t worry about saving the planet right now. Just as long as you’re demanding gun control laws, you’re in no danger of being chastised or canceled.
Of course, there are plenty of other ways for Tim Ryan to try to get Mitch McConnell’s attention, but McConnell’s not really the primary target for Ryan’s stunt. It’s the media attention that he really seeks. Ryan is currently one of the many Democrats running for president, and a stunt like this should get him at least a few seconds of airtime in Ohio and Kentucky media markets, as well as a little bit of national attention as well. It’s doubtful that it does much to his poll numbers, which currently hover around zero percent, but when you’re in last place every little bit helps.
The two gun control measures Ryan mentions are HR8, the “universal background check” bill, and a measure that would extend the time the FBI has to process a background check from 3 days to 30 days. More gun control bills are being discussed in Congress at the moment, however, and it looks likely that we’ll see some form of “red flag” legislation voted on by both chambers in the near future.
Red flag legislation also appears poised to move in the House. The Judiciary Committee was consulting with its members on Tuesday about whether to briefly return to Washington from a six-week recess to advance a red flag bill and other gun-related legislation, according to an aide to the committee.
But it is not clear how Democrats will proceed. Some House liberals want still more measures, such as a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, which directly fuel mass shootings. A House Democratic leadership aide suggested that a red flag bill passed out of the Senate would ideally be attached to tougher House bills to force negotiations between the two chambers.
Despite what Tim Ryan is tweeting, the push right now isn’t to get Senate approval of the two bills passed by the House earlier this year; it’s to get as many gun control laws as possible passed as quickly as possible. We’re already seeing politicians like Chuck Schumer belittle gun control proposals like “red flag” laws as not enough, and even Republicans like Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Wisconsin are coming out in favor of raising the age to purchase a firearm, magazine bans, and “universal background checks,” warning if the GOP doesn’t adopt at least some gun control measures, we could see a push to abolish the 2nd Amendment completely. Frankly, that push has already begun, and caving on unconstitutional, unenforceable, or ineffective gun control laws only gets us closer to that point, not further, but that’s another column for another time (likely tonight or tomorrow, to be precise).