AP Photo/Evan Vucci
There are a lot of anti-gun lawmakers in Congress, but one of the more vocal has been Sen. Chris Murphy. The Connecticut lawmaker has been a constant voice for anti-gun regulations among Democrats, even when such measures were politically unpalatable among the Left. With their renewed desire to push an anti-Second Amendment agenda, Murphy and his history may have placed him in a more prominent role within the party.
Now, it seems President Trump is reaching out to Murphy to discuss gun control, and it’s not Murphy who is talking about it.
“We had a very good conversation. We’ll see what happens,” Trump told reporters while en route to a speech in Pennsylvania.
Murphy has been a leading advocate for more gun control laws since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in his state in 2012. He tweeted Tuesday that he’d spoken with Trump and Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) about support for background checks legislation.
The president has been adamant that he supports passing stronger background checks after back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, left more than 30 people dead and dozens wounded. But it’s unclear if there will be enough GOP support in the Senate to pass such legislation.
Trump on Tuesday reiterated that he believes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is in favor of taking action on gun safety.
Murphy tweeted this after the conversation.
I’ve spoken to @POTUS as well as @Sen_JoeManchin and @SenToomey over the past several days re our background checks bills. We continue to work to find common ground, but as I told the President, we can’t get a bill if he and the GOP give the gun lobby veto power.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) August 13, 2019
If McConnell is in favor of bringing gun control to a vote and both he and the president are willing to provide political cover, it looks like we’re going to end up with universal background checks, regardless of what any of us think about it.
Right now, there is immense pressure on GOP lawmakers to do something following the back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. Of course, neither of those shootings would have been stopped by universal background checks. In fact, I can’t recall a single mass shooting that would have been stopped by such checks.
There may well have been one or more, but damned if I can remember it.
Instead, most mass shooters lack a disqualifying criminal history. They’ll pass a background check regardless of who they’re buying a gun from in the first place.
However, in fairness to President Trump, a universal background check scheme is the least invasive item of gun control he could back. While it does wonders to get Democrats off his back, its impact on gun owners will be fairly minimal. After all, most people buy their guns from licensed gun dealers anyway. They’re already getting the check.
Don’t get me wrong. I oppose them. I don’t want to see them passed. Frankly, I’m probably trying to rationalize what seems to be happening right now in an attempt to make the best of an awful situation.
It looks like this is going to happen, folks.
That said, the White House is also talking to gun rights groups to try to find something that won’t be a further encroachment on our rights. Further, just because the president spoke with Murphy doesn’t mean he’s going to sign any bit of gun control that comes down the line.
Still, it’s troubling that the president’s having these conversations in the first place.