House Democrats want gun control. Senate Democrats want gun control. The White House obviously wants it too.
Part of the problem for them is that there’s no chance of it getting to President Joe Biden’s desk for a signature. Sure, they passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act last year, but we all know how little that particular measure was ever going to accomplish, even if everything worked as intended with no unintended consequences.
They want more.
In fact, House Dems are continuing to pressure Speaker Kevin McCarthy for a vote on gun control.
More than 100 Democrats are calling on Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to schedule votes on gun violence prevention legislation, the latest push by members of the minority party to spark action on gun reform.
In a letter to McCarthy on Thursday, the Democrats — all members of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force and led by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) — asked McCarthy to bring firearm-related measures to the floor “as soon as possible.”
The lawmakers also laid out a “new standing request” that if leadership is ever forced to change the vote schedule or cancel votes altogether — which happened last week — that they would fill the open time by considering gun violence prevention legislation instead of scraping votes altogether. The House left for recess one day early last week after GOP leadership was forced to punt a vote on an appropriations bill amid internal disagreements, canceling votes on what was supposed to be the final legislative day before August recess.
“We are disappointed that Republican leadership cancelled votes in July with so many pressing issues facing our country. Foremost amongst those is the gun violence crisis that is the leading cause of death for children in America,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter, first reported by The Hill.
“As Members of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, we call on you to schedule votes on gun violence prevention legislation as soon as possible this year,” they continued. “We also have a new standing request that should the vote schedule fall apart again, you would fill that time to vote on life-saving gun violence prevention legislation, instead of canceling votes altogether.”
Now, understand that Democrats don’t actually control the House. They also don’t have enough of a majority in the Senate to override a filibuster.
So why this push?
Well, polling tells them that some of these measures are popular with the American people. That polling is wrong, but that’s what they see.
As a result, they want to see gun control come up for a vote so they can try and use it to hammer Republicans come next November. Without a vote, it’s difficult to attack Republican lawmakers as opposing supposedly life-saving gun laws. They need that vote to open those lines of attack.
On some level, they know these measures won’t pass. They know the House will vote them down, but it’s not about gun control itself but about politics.
However, I also think McCarthy might be doing them a favor in a way.
Once people understand what some of these bills actually do, some of these gun control policies aren’t going to be as popular as they are in a poll, and you’d better believe the facts will be laid out during a campaign. In a way, these measures might remain “popular,” at least with regard to polling, so long as people don’t understand them.
So yeah, McCarthy might be doing them a solid and, unfortunately, they’re too blinded by their anti-gun agenda to realize it.