The last thing gun rights supporters needed was the shooting in Odessa, Texas over the Labor Day weekend. Besides the tragedy of seven people being killed in yet another senseless act of violence, we have renewed calls for assault weapon bans and other gun control ideas.
However, right now we have had one person that’s managed to hold off gun control legislation, and that’s Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
McConnell has refused to bring any gun control measures passed by the House up for a vote because, frankly, most of them are stupid. Yet lawmakers are under intense pressure at the moment and while most wouldn’t ordinarily support gun control, they might cave and pass something just to shut up the media.
Now, the media scrutiny is ramping up. The question is, will McConnell continue to hold the line? According to him, that depends on the Trump administration.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is maintaining a noncommittal stance on gun control legislation following Saturday’s mass shooting in west Texas.
Speaking to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, McConnell said on Tuesday that any gun control legislation would have to wait until President Donald Trump decides on measures that the administration could support.
Over the Labor Day holiday weekend, a gunman opened fire on a highway during a routine traffic stop in Odessa, Texas, killing seven and injuring 25 others.
“Well, we’re in a discussion about what to do on the gun issue in the wake of these horrendous shootings,” McConnell said. “I said several weeks ago that if the president took a position on a bill so that we knew we would actually be making a law and not just having serial votes, I’d be happy to put it on the floor.”
His comments came in response to a question about gun control legislation that passed the Democratically-controlled House in February, which McConnell has blockedfrom a Senate vote. That legislation would strengthen background check requirements for gun purchases.
The Senate’s top Republican said he expects the administration to come to a conclusion next week.
This isn’t overly surprising, nor particularly terrifying. We already know that Trump is going to present a package meant to address the recent spate of mass shootings that seemingly plagues this country. We know some of what will be in that package but not everything. In addition to a bill to expedite capital punishment for mass shooters will also likely be support for federal red flag laws. Beyond that, no one is certain. Will there be support for universal background checks or not?
The latest from the president suggests there won’t be.
Regardless, it looks like some kind of gun control is going to get passed and McConnell isn’t going to stop it. Further, with the package coming from the president, many Republicans who ordinarily wouldn’t think about passing such a bill would probably back the president’s play. Especially since gun control is likely to play a significant factor in the 2020 elections.
While I’d prefer not to see any kind of gun control, it looks like McConnell has other plans. The big question is, just how bad is it going to be?