National Review: GOP should be cautious over Senate deal

National Review: GOP should be cautious over Senate deal
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

We’ve spilled a lot of digital ink over the Senate deal of late, but that stands to reason. It’s a bipartisan agreement to pass gun control. Did anyone think we’d just brush this kind of thing off?

Of course, we’re not the only ones talking about it. That’s hardly surprising either. After all, it’s big news and people are going to have that discussion.

Over at National Review, they’re urging Republican lawmakers to be cautious over the deal.

Washington, D.C.is aflutter with the news that a bipartisan group of senators has come to a “deal” on a framework for, among other things, increased gun control.

Many of the Republicans who are on board the deal are defending it by insisting that it “could be worse.” And, indeed, it could. But we must ask, “so what?” The material question here is not how bad the laws could theoretically be but whether the alterations under consideration would, on balance, improve the status quo. The answer is “No.”

Subject to the details, we remain open to “red flag” laws. But we remain steadfastly opposed to such measures being imposed — or micromanaged — from the federal level. A lack of funding has never been a key obstacle to the creation of state-level crisis intervention statutes, and it is not now, either. What, then, beyond preempting their designs, can be the purpose of a federal role? The same question obtains for the provisions providing funding for mental health, school safety, and telehealth. Thanks in part to the excesses of the federal government’s Covid-19 mitigation efforts, the states are currently flush with cash — especially in the area of education, where 93 percent of the $122 billion that Washington, D.C., sent to America’s schools remains unspent. There is no good case here for the Treasury to write yet more checks.

The editorial–because that’s precisely what this is–goes on to outline some problems with other measures in the Senate deal as well.

However, they also bring up a very important point worth discussing, and that’s how dishonest the anti-gun left has been on this deal.

Politically, we must caution Republicans against jumping at the Senate’s framework in the hope that it will bring an end to the Democrats’ calls for more draconian restrictions on guns. It will not. On Sunday, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut touted the proposal as a “breakthrough agreement on gun violence — the first in 30 years.” This is remarkably dishonest. In 2017, after a working group in the Senate had consented to the framework for the “Fix NICS” gun-control bill that Murphy had personally negotiated with Senator John Cornyn, Murphy described the development as “a bipartisan breakthrough on gun legislation” and suggested that it marked “an important milestone that shows real compromise can be made on the issue of guns.” Hailing the bill as a “big deal,” Murphy went on to insist that the “reforms” it contained “aren’t window dressing” and called the measure “the most important piece of bipartisan guns legislation since Manchin-Toomey.” In March of 2018, President Trump signed the plan into law.

In other words, we have had gun control passed. The Fix NICS bill passed and was signed into law in the wake of Sutherland Springs, when the killer passed a background check he never should have passed because the Air Force failed to input his dishonorable discharge status into the system.

Yet that’s been ignored despite it happening just a few years ago.

What that tells me is that this “compromise” will likewise be ignored a few years down the road when the anti-gun types decide they want more gun control. They’ll pretend this didn’t happen and try to browbeat Republicans over their supposed inaction.

They made this deal but won’t even get credit among the anti-gun set for their willingness to potentially alienate their base.

In fact, it’s a good lesson for Republican lawmakers to remember. Not only will you anger gun rights activists but the gun control crowd won’t even give you a pass.