Senate and guns: a fragile compromise

The increase in shootings in 2022, particularly in schools, and multiple polls in favor of tightening rules on gun sale and possession seem to have overcome the inaction of many lawmakers in Congress.

Already last week, a majority of MPs supported a number of measures. While we had almost given up hope for a compromise in the Senate, we learned yesterday that the 50 Democrats and 10 Republicans have reached an agreement.

The number of Republicans is important because it takes 60 senators to bypass the parliamentary obstruction (filibuster). No sooner had the agreement announced than President Biden announced that he would sign when the project was presented to him.

Biden asked for more, but at a time when the two political parties are on very little terms, the old path knows very well that it must grab the ball at the bounce, as a series of incomplete measures is preferable to a new impasse.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

After years of almost pathological gun aversion, parliamentarians are nevertheless proposing not uninteresting measures that remedy obvious shortcomings.

For example, we will improve access to mental health resources, better background checks for those under 21 (assault rifles), better oversight of gun dealer licenses, more investment in school security, and the establishment of new “Laws with red flags(Laws that allow citizens who could pose a danger to others).

On the other hand, the senators dropped the possibility of better background checks for all potential buyers, just like we won’t back down on selling assault rifles or the age at which we can get one.

Don’t sell bearskins

We are therefore not talking about an innovative and aggressive initiative, but every step in the right direction will help save lives. Before we rejoice, I suggest some restraint.

I ask for caution because between the compromise and the final draft of a bill that Joe Biden would validate, the possibilities of slippage are very real.

The senators agree on the principles, but the texts have yet to be written. Since the devil is in the details, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if discussions stumble over a formulation that is considered to be tendentious.

Let’s not forget that there are currently only 10 Republicans supporting the deal. Just one dissatisfied one and it’s a failure.

Can we harbor even a vague hope? Yes. Republicans have taken note of popular discontent, and by settling these acts we can begin to talk about inflation and the misery of the Biden administration.

Tentative measures show that we are not insensitive on this issue and that the Democrats will find it difficult to attack their opponents on this point during the election campaign.

Leave a Comment