Why the Bipartisan Gun Deal Could Still Fall Apart

A lot of Washington took a break from their Sunday plans to at least glance at the breaking-news alerts reporting that negotiators in the Senate had seemingly reached a bipartisan deal to combat gun violence. The savvy ones read between the lines—or, in some cases, what aides were saying explicitly—and understood that the first significant change to gun laws since the 1994 crime bill wasn’t going to be anything approximating smooth.

In the wake of the latest mass shootings, even the most skeptical observers of gun politics in this country felt something might be different this time. A grocery store shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., left 10 dead and three injured, allegedly in an attack targeting Black residents at the hands of a white nationalist on May 14. Ten days later, another mass shooting left 19 students and two teachers dead in Uvalde, Texas. By Sunday evening of this week, activists and policy aides were circulating broad documents about what was coming—and what was not—as lawmakers and their aides struck an ambitious informal deadline of passing this before the July 4 holiday recess.
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The group of 20 lawmakers announced they had reached a compromise package that linked modest restrictions on guns with unspecified spending on mental health services and school safety. In exchange, negotiators dropped Democratic desires for universal background checks, a raised minimum age to purchase some weapons, and a ban on assault rifles. No one admittedly loves the result, but as President Joe Biden says often, it’s better to judge an outcome based not on the Almighty but on the alternative, and in this case, that means more years of nothing.

Biden said he was looking forward to signing the deal. That, however, assumes a level of …read more

Source:: Time – Politics


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