When Sen. John Cornyn introduced his plan to respond to a string of mass shootings around the nation, including a couple in his home state of Texas, he probably know it would be contentious. After all, anything to do with responding to mass shootings tends to be fairly controversial. It probably shouldn’t be, but when you’re convinced the only possible solution is to infringe on the rights of millions of Americans, you’re not going to be happy with anything else.
The bill tackles a list of factors like expanding access to mental health care, cracking down on unlicensed gun dealers, and speeding up the death penalty process for people convicted of mass terrorism crimes.
But Kris Brown with Brady United Against Gun Violence says the gun legislation isn’t enough.
“He seems to be bending over backwards to identify various solutions. None of which has anything to do with how to actually stop mass shootings. You can’t address this problem without addressing easy access to guns,” says Brown.
Brown says Congress needs to focus on taking guns away from dangerous people — not just flagging them to authorities.
Cornyn, of course, disagreed. I do as well.
However, something Brown needs to understand is that by flagging these supposedly dangerous people to the authorities, an investigation can be launched to determine if there’s a legitimate threat to the public or not. If so, they can be arrested, an act that not just thwarts a planned attack but can also prevent that individual from lawfully purchasing a firearm ever again.
And don’t tell me it won’t work, because a surprising number of planned mass shootings have been stopped in recent months all without the benefit of a single red flag law, which is what Brown is advocating for there. We’ve stopped them before and we can do so again. That’s because the act of planning such an attack is criminal. It’s a felony, which means a conviction would legally bar the individual from owning a firearm for life, or until they could convince a judge to restore their rights, something I doubt any judge would willingly do.
The fact that anti-gunners hate this bill is probably a positive sign for gun rights, to be sure. Especially since this doesn’t infringe on our gun rights, something Cornyn apparently tried to keep in mind when crafting this legislation.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of backing this bill ultimately gets. While I can see it passing the Senate easily enough, will Democrats in the House bother with this one at all?
My guess is that they won’t. That’s because they don’t actually care about mass shootings. They just see them as a useful situation to demand gun control and gun confiscation of firearms they find distasteful for whatever reason. In other words, they want our so-called “assault weapons” and will likely refuse to back anything that doesn’t go after them.
Nevermind that The Response Act actually can make a difference. Nevermind that it actually can help us fight mass shootings. Nevermind that it does so while respecting the rights of Americans to keep and bear arms.
None of that matters because it respects the right to keep and bear arms.
I’d love to be wrong, but it’s something we’ll need to watch and see.