Anti-gun activists react to Senate gun control deal

AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe

For the first time since 1994, it looks like we’re going to get gun control. In the wake of Buffalo, Uvalde, Tulsa, and Smithsburg, it was probably too much to hope that there wouldn’t be anything at all.

On Sunday, as Cam noted, a bipartisan committee announced they had reached a deal.

Of course, some folks have feelings about it.

US campaigners have welcomed a potential cross-party deal on gun safety reforms but stressed the proposals do not go far enough.

“This is progress even if small,” said David Hogg, a survivor of the 2018 Parkland school shooting in Florida.

Ex-lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords, injured in a 2011 shooting in Arizona, said it was an “important step forward”.

The plans include tougher checks for buyers under the age of 21 and cracking down on illegal gun purchases.

They were announced by a cross-party group of US senators on Sunday. Crucially, the proposals are supported by 10 Republicans, meaning they have the numbers to be voted into law.

President Joe Biden also said the plans were “steps in the right direction” but they fell far short of what he and many Democrats have been calling for.

“It’s a great first step but that’s just what it is,” Mr Hogg told the BBC. “No single policy is going to stop every shooting but this policy could stop the next Parkland and that’s a good step.”

Except, the measures reported that are most likely to prevent the next Parkland have absolutely nothing to do with gun control.

Increased effort to address mental health and school security will do far, far more than including more information in the background check process would.

Now, to be fair, this could be a whole lot worse.

For most of us, this isn’t likely to create any kind of an issue and we’ll keep going about our lives like we always have. Part of the deal apparently calls for encouraging states to pass red flag laws, but since they can’t actually make them, I think it’s unlikely we’ll see too many take advantage of such “encouragement.”

However, it’s also clear that Democrats won’t be satisfied by this, either.

Sure, they reached a deal here, but it’s far from what they want and they don’t know how to accept that. When these measures fail to stop the next shooting, the 10 Republicans who backed this can expect to hear all about how they didn’t go far enough and it’s still all their fault.

I say this because much of this fails to actually address the root of mass shootings. In fact, it fails to even look for the root of mass shootings. It’s not guns, for crying out loud.

Yet something to think about is that now the pressure to accept more gun control will be greatest since these Republicans have signaled they’re willing to budge. They’re the ones who are going to be targeted to budge yet again.

This is far from over.

Democrats won’t be satisfied with what they’ve gotten and they will begin pressing for all these new regulations they want in the very near future. What just happened won’t even be acknowledged or, if it is, it’ll be labeled too little to make a difference.

Just like every other bit of gun control ever passed.