Sen. Chris Murphy has been one of the loudest voices calling for gun control for a while now. The Connecticut Democrat is bound and determined to pass some kind of anti-gun measure, even if there’s really no reason to believe it would stop anything.
Now, in the wake of two deadly, high-profile mass shootings, Murphy has seemingly become the point man in the Senate for making something happen.
And according to him, lawmakers are closer than ever.
Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, the lead Democratic negotiator in bipartisan talks on gun control legislation, said Sunday he’s “more confident than ever” lawmakers will be able to get something done to address gun violence across the US, while acknowledging he’s also concerned their efforts could fail.
“I’ve never been part of negotiations as serious as these. There are more Republicans at the table talking about changing our gun laws, investing in mental health than at any time since Sandy Hook,” Murphy told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” referencing the mass shooting in 2012 at an elementary school in his home state. “I’ve also been part of many failed negotiations in the past, so I’m sober-minded about our chances.”
He later said, “I’m more confident than ever that we’re going to get there, but I’m also more anxious about failure this time around.”
Bipartisan talks on gun legislation are ongoing following recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. Previous attempts in Congress to pass major gun overhaul measures have either stalled or failed. Murphy on Sunday listed “red flag” laws and narrower background check measures as among the provisions that might end up in a final package, in addition to more resources for mental healthcare and school safety. He acknowledged that not all sides in the talks will get everything they want, including an assault weapons ban or more comprehensive background check policies that many Democrats are calling for.
In other words, it sounds like they’re discussing Manchin-Toomey, which is still a universal background check bill, but has more exceptions for when it doesn’t apply.
The good news is that unless the Senate will consider an assault weapon ban, it’s just not happening.
That sounds like about all of the good news, however.
With Republicans at the table ready to deal away our rights for political expediency, there’s plenty of bad news to be had.
Now, it’s possible that this is some tactic, that they’ll pretend to go along until the hysteria dies down, then find a reason to pull out of the discussion when there’s really no more heat to be had. I can hope.
That’s not what it looks like, though, and Republicans who count on gun owners’ support would do well to remember that none of us are too fond of gun control in general. We’re not likely to be that supportive come general election time.
Then there’s an optics issue that Senate Republicans need to recognize. If they go along and pass gun control, they’re going to have a harder time saying no to it the next time around. After all, they’ll have essentially capitulated the point as to whether gun control works–if they pass it, they’re saying it does–and they’ll have a harder time backing off the next set of bills on those grounds.
And you’re deluding yourself if you don’t think someone on the left will try to push that.