Tuesday, the Vichy caucus of the Republican party caved to their genetic impulse to seek approval of people who neither like nor respect them (other than conservative voters). Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced his support (see Mitch McConnell Shockingly Sells out His Constituents and the Rest of the GOP and Supports Gun Control Legislation) for a gun control “framework” announced by a group of ten senators on Sunday (Today’s Senate ‘Bipartisan Gun Safety’ Proposal Is Just as Bad as You Feared It Would Be).
As I explain in those two posts, there is nothing in the “framework” that will have any impact on gun violence other than hardening schools. The embrace of “Red Flag” laws, opening juvenile records to background checks, and linking mental health clinics to gun violence are all guaranteed to do nothing about gun violence while, simultaneously, doing a great deal of damage. If any recent act by the Senate epitomized Benjamin Franklin’s warning about forsaking essential liberty for a temporary illusion of safety, it is this “framework.”
Desperate to stave off potential blowback, the leader of the Republican half of the “bipartisan” group of senators is now showing us how tough he was.
These are ideas we rejected in the bipartisan agreement on principles for gun-related legislation announced yesterday. Why? Because we knew that if they were included, the bill would not command the votes needed for passage. pic.twitter.com/dfrAWmYJM2
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) June 13, 2022
Cornyn is missing a key concept in negotiations. The idea in a negotiation is that both sides get something. When you give up everything and get nothing in return except an agreement, then you’ve surrendered. The bottom line is that there was no reason for any GOP senator to negotiate away the rights of Americans for the sake of a favorable mention in a Washington Post editorial. A serious negotiation could have demanded a couple of items from Democrats to shape future agreements. For instance, as a condition of granting a vote on this “framework,” Congress could demand that the Department of Justice justify on a quarterly basis any decision not to file federal charges of firearms violations in areas with high gun violence rates and explain any plea bargain seeking less than a maximum sentence for a firearms offense. In addition, it could have extracted a promise to honor and defend District of Columbia vs. Heller as the law of the land. The latter would cause enough gun-grabber heads to explode that we’d at least get a chance to catch our wind.
Please don’t pay any attention to anything Cornyn and his cronies offer in the way of defense. This “framework” is unnecessary and dangerous. In their craven kowtow in search of popularity, our senators have taken the first step towards trading away the gun rights of Americans.
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