Senate Democrats admit bipartisan gun-control negotiations will fall well short of their expectations. They’re eager for a deal regardless, and appear to be prepared to accept whatever the GOP offers.
Democrats Go Soft
Whatever the outcome of the talks between a few members of both parties, one thing is certain: there will be no assault rifle prohibition or mandatory background checks.
Universal background checks, as well as raising the minimum age to purchase weapons to 21, are both long shots.
Democrats undoubtedly want such regulations to become law; yet, they are not prescribing the minimum necessities in terms of gun safety.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), when asked why not, said, “I don’t believe that’s a healthy way for us to look at it.”
Fox News is picking up what Matthew McConaughey is putting down. A reminder that close to 60 percent of all elected officials in this country are white men. What McConaughey said about the need to restore responsibilities to gun rights in America has absolutely moved the needle. pic.twitter.com/XDGPzOK7x0
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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is providing Murphy a lot of breathing room to make a weapons deal with Senate Republicans, after pushing the GOP to openly reject voting rights and abortion access measures this year.
It’s a pragmatic move, underscoring how the gun issue divides a 50-member Democratic caucus that has worked for over a decade to get GOP support for gun restrictions.
Although they don’t say it publicly, Democrats feel there’s a significant risk that internal GOP schisms would ultimately derail any gun-control agreement. That means they don’t have to do anything to keep an eye on the Republican irritant.
Democrats Must Keep Radicals in Check
As a result, despite their strong views about supporting more restrictive gun restrictions, Democratic politicians are not putting any constraints on the talks.
While Schumer acknowledges gaining GOP support is a “tough obstacle to surmount,” he does not set any strict timetables.
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“I am aware of the political realities. It’s not going to provide me with anything and I’m starting to think. What we’re asking for is the support of the American people.”
“If it’s a step forward and makes us better as a country, we have to do it,” Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL), who is now the majority leader, said.
Responding to a gunman who killed 19 kids and teachers in Uvalde, Texas, is proving a difficult balancing act for Democrats, who may only have a few months left of complete control of Washington.
Liberals are still pressing behind the scenes to change the proposal, despite their public deference to Murphy and his negotiation colleagues, Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Thom Tillis (R-NC).
Tillis and Cornyn are considering tougher background checks for all gun buyers under the age of 21.
This comes in the hopes of persuading states to submit juvenile criminal records into the national structure and preventing persons charged with major crimes as minors from buying weapons as adults.
According to a source familiar with the talks, Democrats are quietly arguing for a federal waiting time for persons under the age of 21 who want to buy guns in order to force Republicans out of their comfort zone.