Tuesday, 19 children and two teachers were murdered execution-style in a Texas elementary school, which really put Congress on the spot to actually do something about gun violence. However, as you know, Republicans are all monsters and theoretical Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema just love their filibuster. So, that’s about it. Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin seems confident that we’ll pick things up after the long weekend.
Shortly after the massacre, while they were still trying to identify the now unrecognizable corpses of murdered children, Manchin vowed he’d do “anything” to move “common sense gun legislation forward” in the Senate, but he still wouldn’t budge on reforming the filibuster, which he dismissed as “the easy way out.”
“The filibuster should not be needed at all,” he told reporters. “We’d be talking about throwing out the one tool we have that keeps us working, at least talking, together.”
There aren’t 10 votes in the Senate GOP’s death cult for “common sense” of any sort, but this moron sincerely believes the filibuster facilitates compromise instead of handing Mitch McConnell a legislative veto.
Sinema, the Senate’s most useless Democrat, did manage more than press release platitudes Wednesday. Politico’s Burgess Everett noted the she “rarely makes off-the-cuff statements.” Look, she’s a senator not fucking Greta Garbo. Addressing the public is part of the job, one that Sinema ignores in favor of schmoozing with her donors.
Sinema’s statement was a vague word salad without any dressing. She said:
You know, I don’t think that DC solutions are realistic here … But there are things that we can do. There’s some shared agreement on red flag, which I think might be a place to start conversations to actually get something done for real that would make a difference to people.
Fuck you, lady, and your rightwing smear of Washington DC. It’s obnoxious political nihilism. If you don’t think the federal government, located in DC, can produce constructive solutions, then maybe don’t Senate for a living. Actual competent Democrats who aren’t out for all they can grift passed two major gun safety measures in the House last year: The Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 and the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021. Both measures stalled in the Senate. They aren’t cheap stunts like Sinema’s cutesy curtsies.
The gunman who murdered 19 children and two teachers Tuesday turned 18 on May 16. He purchased a semi-automatic rifle at a local gun store the next day. He bought 375 rounds of ammunition on May 18. He returned on May 20 for his second semiautomatic rifle. It’s unclear what sort of half-assed background check (if any) was conducted. However, the Washington Post profile on the gunman reveals he was an obviously disturbed young man who shouldn’t have been allowed to own a goldfish, let alone a firearm.
Texas Republicans passed laws within the past year that made Tuesday’s massacre possible.
Handguns can normally only be bought by people aged 21 years old or older, but a 2021 amendment to the Texas Government Code allows people who are 18 years old to be eligible for a handgun license if they meet all other requirements except the minimum age under federal law and are under protective orders related to family violence.
Since September 1, 2021, Texas no longer requires people to have a license to carry a handgun in most public places. Restrictions remained on carrying firearms at schools.
The police complain if they stub their toe shortly after a liberal DA refused to prosecute a Black Lives Matter protester or give the electric chair to a homeless person. Democrats should hammer the fact that Republicans passed laws that are directly responsible for 19 dead children.
Sinema alludes to extreme risk protection orders or “red flag laws.” Rep. Lucy McBath from Georgia has led legislation to enact federal red flag laws. This isn’t anything new, but Sinema, a self-obsessed phony, doesn’t acknowledge the blood and sweat her Democratic colleagues put into these bills that the GOP promptly kills. (In McBath’s case, actual blood, after her son was murdered.) The filibuster enables this lack of action, even when Democrats control the Senate.
Red flag laws are the current great white nope in the Senate. We’re sure Sinema and Manchin will have many bipartisan “conversations” with certain Republicans, but there’ll never be enough votes to break a gun-lobby-funded filibuster. Ironically, red flag laws might not have prevented the Texas massacre. Extreme risk protection orders temporarily remove guns from people a federal court deems a threat to themselves and others. Someone would have to know the Texas gunman bought the guns and ammo and would need to prove he was dangerous. Republicans and even some people on the Left would require a high bar before the guns are seized. The Texas gunman murdered 21 people just four days after purchasing his second gun.
The problem, as always, remains the easy access to lethal weapons.
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