One of the tricky things in American politics is the need to try and find at least some degree of common ground. You don’t necessarily need a lot of people from the other side, but you generally need at least some.
Perhaps more importantly, you need people to believe there’s common ground to be found on a given topic. That way, you can convince the electorate that those who refuse to budge are really the problem.
At a recent forum seeking common ground on issues, though, it seems organizers wanted to stack the deck a bit.
In June, President Biden signed the first significant gun control legislation in a generation, culminating a process that would have failed without public support and bipartisan cooperation in the Senate.
While some will say the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is the culmination of a social movement that kicked into a higher gear following the murder of 20 Newtown, Conn., elementary school students in 2012, a Democratic senator and former Republican House member came together Tuesday evening to discuss ways to achieve even more.
Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, one of the architects of the new law, and ex-Rep. Will Hurd, who represented Uvalde, Texas, for three terms, were the featured guests at a Common Ground Committee event to explore where the nation goes next on gun policy.
Murphy and Hurd agreed that two factors drove Congress’ ability to get beyond partisanship and pass significant gun control legislation: demand from the American public and strong inter-party relationships in the Senate.
“But they have a Democrat and a Republican. How is that anything but an effort to find common ground?” you might ask.
Well, the problem is that Hurd, while holding office as a Republican, was known to buck the party on a number of issues. One of those was gun control. More recently, though, he’s been vocal about the subject since Uvalde.
In other words, he supports restrictions on gun ownership, and apparently he has for quite some time.
So this forum, ostensibly looking to find common ground, provided two different anti-gun speakers in order to give the illusion that there’s common ground to be found on the issue.
But the truth is that while we know Democrats are overwhelmingly anti-gun and Republicans are generally pro-Second Amendment, that’s not universally true. There are pro-Second Amendment Democrats and anti-gun Republicans.
Hurd is apparently one of them.
This group grabbed two anti-gunners and pretended they were somehow meeting in the middle. A real test would be to square Murphy off with someone like Sen. Ted Cruz. I doubt any common ground would be found on guns then, now would there?
Look, I don’t have an issue with someone preaching to the choir if that’s what they want to do. What I have a problem with is when you have two atheists pretending they found common ground with Christians.
Because that’s pretty much what’s happening here and it’s not cool.
Frankly, I don’t think we should even consider any “common ground” on gun control if, for no other reason, that anytime someone does, it’s a tacit agreement with the argument that gun control works. It doesn’t and it’s beyond time to stop giving in to the notion that it does.