Conservatives Watching Senate Republicans in Gun Control Negotiations

Since the school shooting last month in Uvalde, Texas, the political rhetoric demanding that Congress “do something” about gun control has reached a fever pitch. Joe Biden said in his gun speech last week, “For God’s sake, do something.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has had the House pass the “Protect Our Kids Act” along party lines, and now the focus turns to how Senate Republicans will either stand firm to protect the Second Amendment or will compromise away even more of Americans’ fundamental human rights.

Mark W. Smith wrote an opinion column published Saturday in Breitbart that discusses the warning signs that conservatives should be on the watch for as the legislative bargaining in the Senate heats up.

He cites respected conservative writer Cal Thomas as an example. Thomas wrote after the Uvalde shooting that waiting periods and more rigorous background checks “might help.” This line of argument overlooks the fact that the Uvalde shooter did in fact pass a background check in order to purchase his firearms.

A University of Missouri study of all U.S. mass shootings between 1980 and 2000 indicated that there was no statistical correlation between background check mandates and deaths caused by mass shootings. A 2019 analysis by none other than Time concluded that it was “difficult” to identify any situation where expansive checks would have saved any lives.

As for waiting periods, the Uvalde shooting is another example of a dangerously deranged killer who planned his attack for multiple months. It is essentially impossible to effectively argue that a waiting period alone would have changed the direction he was headed.

The “red flag” provisions being considered may be the worst of all, as they can easily lead to seizures based on unfounded allegations and deprivation of property and the right to self-defense without due process of law.

Even Fox News has platformed journalists and pundits like Judith Miller, who appeared on the network to claim that “there is no place on American streets” for “military assault weapons.” The standard talking point is ignorant of the nature of their most hated firearm, the AR-15, which is in fact a standard civilian rifle chambered in the mainstream .223 caliber.

Actual “military assault weapons” are fully automatic rifles, or “machine guns.” Those have been illegal without highly restrictive licenses for many decades.

Ordinary GOP lawmakers are now becoming more susceptible to standard liberal talking points on gun control. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) is now negotiating with Senate Democrats to craft a “bipartisan” gun control compromise that is reported to include “red flag” provisions and expanded background checks. Cornyn is reportedly leading the effort at the urging of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Conservatives must make efforts to prevent GOP senators from confusing gun control legislation with crime control policies. The wishlist put together by Biden and Pelosi will not do anything to reduce mass shooting deaths in America, but will go a long way toward disarming Americans.