Are GOP Senators Preparing To Renege On Gun Safety Deal?

GOP Senators Preparing To Renege On Gun Safety Deal
Youtube Screenshot

“The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500% percent.”

“An abuser’s access to a firearm increases the risk of femicide by 1,000 percent.”

That’s from data compiled by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). The NCADV applauded “the bipartisan group of Senators negotiating the gun violence prevention framework for including provisions relating to firearm access by adjudicated abusers.” That was earlier this week, when there was premature news of an agreement on a framework for legislation at least nodding at gun safety.

According to their statistics, “most intimate partner homicides are committed by dating partners.” But they point out current federal law restricting gun ownership by convicted abusers “applies only to current/former spouses, cohabitants, and people who share a child in common: it leaves out people in dating relationships.” Senate Republicans, supposedly negotiating in good faith with Democrats on gun safety, apparently want to keep it that way. As The New York Timesputs it, they’re arguing over “What counts as a boyfriend?”

“The surface explanation seems like it would be fairly simple, but I know that as they try to reduce it to legislative text, I think it’s gotten a little bit more uncomfortable,” said Sen. John Thune, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s number two man. Thune is not one of the negotiators, but is clearly speaking for leadership. It really should be that simple, because we are talking about someone who has been convicted of violence against an intimate partner. Being convicted of violence should be enough in any context whatsoever to prevent someone from getting their hands on a gun.

With the prevalence of homicide by intimate partners, not to mention stalkers, it really shouldn’t be hard. After all, senators have been talking on this issue for years: The so-called boyfriend loophole kept the Violence Against Women Act from being reauthorized for over three years. It expired in December 2018 and was finally reauthorized this spring, when Democrats just let the gun loophole issue go.

The current stalemate suggests that the issue is far less about the difficulty of crafting the language than the “Cornyn Con” in action.

Republicans don’t want this provision—which is opposed by the NRA—to pass this time around, either. So they’re using the tactic McConnell and Texas Sen. John Cornyn have relied upon for years: Take an issue that’s extremely popular with the public—comprehensive immigration reform, for example—and put Cornyn in the lead on negotiating because he has credibility with Democrats and traditional media. God knows why.

Then let him slowly whittle away at whatever “agreement” was ostensibly made at the beginning of the negotiations—blaming Democrats all the while for refusing to compromise—until it’s done. And everyone can throw up their hands and blame “partisan gridlock.”

One Republican familiar with the talks is being far less cagey than Cornyn. Take it or leave it, they told a Politico reporter. “[E]ither the [D]emocrats accept what the Republicans are asking for on boyfriend loophole, or it will be dropped entirely.” Another tried to back away from that, saying that it’s still “under discussion.” The ultimatum part of the Cornyn Con doesn’t come quite yet in the negotiating sequence.

It’s worth remembering that 10 Republicans signed onto the agreement that was announced Sunday. They agreed in principle to the inclusion of his provision. Then Cornyn moved the goalposts, saying he wanted at least 20 Republicans on board. He’s moved the goalposts and he’s moved the deadlines—every week since the shooting, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised a floor vote by the end of the week.

Now with the Senate gone on a long weekend for the Juneteenth holiday, the Senate would have to work like lightning to get legislative language written and a bill on the floor by next week. Then they would have in essence three days to pass it before heading off for another two-week recess for the Fourth of July holiday. It’s happened before in the Senate, moving with that kind of alacrity. They did it to protect Supreme Court justices because Republicans wanted it. But it won’t happen to protect thousands of innocent lives.

At this point, Democrats should call the negotiations off. Schumer should bring the bill passed by the House to the floor first thing next week. Then he should follow up with votes on an assault-style rifle ban, universal background checks, and high-capacity magazine bans. He should make Republicans vote against every single thing American voters want.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Sucking Up: House Republicans Want To Give Trump A Gold Medal

Rep. Matt Gaetz outside the New York Supreme Court for Trump trial on May 15, 2024

Donald Trump

The first Congressional Gold Medal was struck in 1776 as a way of saying thanks to George Washington. Since then, the medal has been awarded just 184 times to hallowed figures including Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, and the Dalai Lama. Compared to the 647 civilian Presidential Medals of Freedom or the 3,517 military Medals of Honor, the Congressional Gold Medal is the rarest of the great honors awarded in America.

Keep reading...Show less
Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani's efforts to help Donald Trump overturn the 2020 presidential election results have resulted in both civil lawsuits and two criminal indictments for the former New York City mayor. Giuliani is among Trump's co-defendants in Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis' election interference case, and in late April, he was indicted by a grand jury in a separate election interference case being prosecuted by State Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat, in Arizona.

Keep reading...Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}