From the moment we saw the results of the midterm elections, we knew this moment was coming. We’d have known it was coming even if the Democrats hadn’t announced it. It’s what Democrats do.
Their first move isn’t particularly surprising, though. They’re going to try and push for universal background checks.
On the eighth anniversary of the shooting of former representative Gabby Giffords, Democrats are introducing a bipartisan bill it hopes will tackle gun violence.
After taking over the house, the key plank of Democrat policy will see the party push for increasing background checks on those wishing to buy guns online and at gun shows.
Although it would seek to impose universal background checks for the purchase of arms, it will not include any move towards an assault weapons ban.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who strongly supports changing U.S. gun culture, said that Giffords, who was shot at a constituent meeting in Arizona on January 8, 2011, will take part in the unveiling of the bill on Tuesday.
Although the Democrats now control the House, it is unclear whether the Senate will pass the measure amid Republican opposition. The bill had more than two dozen Republican co-sponsors in 2017, although some of those are no longer in office.
Unclear? That’s Newsweek being Newsweek.
Of course, it’s not going to pass. That’s the only upside to a divided Congress in these divisive times. Almost nothing is going to get passed through both chambers of Congress and then get signed by the president unless there is incredibly broad support or it’s so insignificant that no one cares.
Post offices can get named, but that’s about it.
But Newsweek wants you to think this is bipartisan. Then again, Pelosi wants you to think that, too. How?
Well, it seems Rep. Pete King is a co-sponsor of the bill.
These days, just one member of the other party signing onto a bill makes it bipartisan, at least when it’s convenient to see it that way. King has been onboard with expanding background checks for some time, so this isn’t exactly a break in character for him.
It’s only too bad that criminals have been bypassing background checks for years. They either use straw purchases, a false identity, or buy straight off the black market. They won’t accomplish much of anything so far as crime is concerned.
The truth is that only a tiny fraction of criminals purchase guns in face-to-face transactions with law-abiding citizens. Those that do are fully prepared to make any necessary adjustments to secure a firearm outside of those transactions as well. They don’t need them.
But what it does do is add an unnecessary complication to the process of selling a gun for law-abiding gun owners who want to comply with the law. Enough so that many will refuse to do it. If they’re going to sell a gun to their best friend, they’re going to do it, and the government can’t do anything to stop it from happening.
The truth is that universal background checks sure sound great to folks like Pelosi and King, but they betray a profound ignorance of American gun culture.