It has been more than a week since the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL. The FBI is continuing to investigate and recently released, omitted some things, then changed their mind and released the full transcript between the shooter and 911 operators. Donald Trump told audiences his opinions about the whole thing which was that if the patrons had been armed with a gun, it would have been a “beautiful sight” .
The two presumptive presidential nominees are pointing fingers at each other regarding who has the better plan for gun control. Donald Trump repeatedly tells his supporters that Hillary Clinton will “take away” their 2nd amendment but he will protect it. Hillary is repeatedly telling her supporters that she does NOT want to take away the 2nd amendment but believes certain guns, like the one used in the Orlando shooting, should not have even been made available to the shooter in the first place.
Then on Monday, June 20th four gun measures were voted on in the Senate and all were rejected based on party lines. So this is where we stand – NOTHING has changed and it is still very easy for a gun…even a semi-automatic weapon to be purchased by someone who plans to harm. Out of FOUR gun control measures, Democrats and Republicans could not find common ground on at least one! What was so wrong with them? The Washington Post did an excellent job summarizing each of the measures. In a nutshell, though below are the main reasons given as to why each measure failed:
Gun Control Measure #1 – Republican Version: Tighten up the background check system. The two things this proposal added was a definition of the “mentally incompetent” and the requirement that the Attorney General conducts research on mass shootings and psychological factors. The Post article says that while Democrats believed it would have improved the current background check system, it did not expand it.
Gun Control Measure #2 – Democratic Version: Expand background checks. Required that a federal background check be conducted for all gun sales. Currently, only federally licensed firearms dealers must conduct a background check. You can easily avoid a background check if you purchase a firearm from gun show, a friend, online, or a private dealer. The majority of Republicans did not like this because they view any additional gun restriction as a step closer to abolishing guns.
Gun Control Measure #3 – Republican Version: Prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns. Anyone on the “No Fly” list who tries to buy a gun would have to wait 72 hours to allow the feds sufficient time to explain to the judge that you might be a terrorist. Currently, you can be on the list and still buy a gun without any waiting period. Democrats did not like this because three days is not enough time to make a case that someone is a terrorist and the person would just end up purchasing the gun anyway…making this pointless.
Gun Control Measure #4- Democratic Version: Prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns. If your name is on a watch list you cannot purchase a gun (period). If you believe there is an error, then you could challenge the FBI’s decision in court. Republicans believed that this essentially takes away the constitutional right of due process by preventing a citizen from purchasing a gun first and allowing them to challenge it later.
From a layperson’s perspective, it seems that some sort of compromise could have been made to get SOMETHING passed. Of course, it was further explained in news outlets that the measures were tied to other proposals that had nothing to do with gun control which made the opportunity to find common ground virtually impossible. The actual amendments can be found on the U.S. Senate’s website and can be accessed right here.
So after hearing and reading about what is happening with gun control, what do YOU think about all of this? The Political Great Whine would like to know!
Thanks for “listening” to me whine. Hopefully my whining has made you think. If so, tell your friends/family/colleagues that you heard it through the Political Great Whine!