While Senate Democrats are seeking a new gun control bill, House Republicans like Louie Gohmert are proposing arming teachers with assault weapons.
Senate Democrats say that something must be done. House Republicans agree that something must be done. The difference is in what each of these parties is proposing to do.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein said that she will introduce a new gun control bill on the first day of the new Congress. Feinstein’s bill will seek to ban “the sale, transfer and possession of assault weapons, along with the capacity of high-capacity magazines.” Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connectuict suggested on ABC’s This Week that at minimum we must seek to ban high capacity magazines.
Sen. Blumenthal said, “You know, I come to this issue with a background of almost 30 years in law enforcement, both criminal… and civil, as a United States attorney, the chief federal prosecutor, and 20 years as attorney general. And I’m hearing from the community, as well as my colleagues in law enforcement, we need to do something. And I’m hearing from my colleagues in the Senate around the country, some in states like Wisconsin and Colorado, where there have been similar horrific, horrible tragedies, maybe not involving children with this kind of uncomprehensible kind of circumstance, but we need to do something, at the very least, perhaps, about the high-capacity magazines that were used in this crime.”
On Fox News Sunday, Rep. Louis Golmert proposed giving teachers assault weapons.
Here is the video via Think Progress:
Gohmert said, “Having been a judge and reviewed photographs of these horrific scenes and knowing that children have these defensive wounds, gun shots through their arms and hands as they try to protect themselves, and, hearing the heroic stories of the principal, lunging, trying to protect, Chris, I wish to God she had had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and she didn’t have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands and takes him out and takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids.”
While Democrats are proposing a reasonable policy option, Republicans are stuck in the NRA fantasy land of solving gun violence by giving everyone more guns.
The idea that mass shootings are prevented when more people have guns is simply not true. This myth is has gone straight from the mouths of right wing media talking heads like Ann Coulter to the House Republican caucus.
It is important to talk about the role of assault weapons in mass shooting incidents, but as long as Republicans control the House, and the NRA controls the Republicans, there is little chance of serious gun control bill being passed.
Every legislator has a sworn duty to protect and serve their constituents, but as long as Republicans hold outrageous “policy positions” on guns that come straight from gun manufactures and their special interest groups, there will be no legislation passed.
What we are already seeing play out in the wake of the Newtown shooting is par for the course for congressional Republicans.
Republicans claim that America can’t afford to spend money on better mental health services. They won’t consider anything involving gun policy that isn’t giving people more guns. Just like the fiscal cliff, job creation, and a myriad of other issues House Republicans are demanding their way or no way.
Democrats have to try to pass this bill. They have to hope that public pressure will sway enough GOP members of the House to pass some legislation that may help curb the violence. A gun control bill will not solve the problem. The issue is a complicated mix of culture and policy that won’t be resolved with one piece of legislation, but we have to start somewhere.
The dynamic that played out on the Sunday shows demonstrated why Congress is completely dysfunctional. Democrats consider reasonable solutions, Republicans counter with something completely batsh*t crazy.
Such is the current state of American politics.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association