Monday, November 28, 2022

what to do with the fury over the mass shootings

Many people are furious on Tuesday massacre at Rob Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. On Wednesday, former Democratic Representative Beto O’Rourke vented that anger a bit when he entered the press conference by Republican Governor Greg Abbott, and began shouting. “You’re doing nothing,” O’Rourke said. “You’re not doing everything.”

It is fair to accuse Abbott, who recently signed the laws rolling back Texas’ already had a minimum gun safety law and a few years ago it took to Twitter to lament the fact that Texans had lagged behind Californians in total firearms purchases. “Let’s pick up the speed Texans,” he tweeted at the time,

But O’Rourke’s performance was also an expression of the desperation that many Americans – not just Democrats – feel at going through this horrific ritual again.

What happened in Texas this week was not surprising. Mass shootings happen all the time in America and when killers aren’t killing their victims by the dozens, they are doing so once or twice – at home and in the workplace, behind storefronts and in the streets. The Rob Elementary shooting was actually the 27th school shooting of this year, which works out to roughly one every six days. education week,

This is a typical American phenomenon, at least in economically advanced countries. No peer nation makes it so easy to own a gun. no one is rival for america Years of Life Lost to Firearms, Every new tragedy brings a new spasm of indignation and yet, somehow, the laws do not change.

Is there any possibility of action this time? Anything minor? Maybe, although it probably involves a lot of work and a lot of time – and, yes, maybe even some anger.

Congress doesn’t seem likely to help

It is certainly possible that one of those proposals will become law. Nineteen dead schoolchildren can be a powerful motivator.

But it wasn’t so powerful a decade ago when there were 20 kids in toll. sandy hook primary, That tragedy also provoked outrage, mourning and a call to action. Congress responded by putting together a background check bill, only to take measures failed in the Senate,

It’s important to be clear how that vote fell. The Democrats had a majority and almost all of their members supported the measure. But that wasn’t enough because Senate filibuster rules meant 60 votes were needed to pass most legislation and with only four Republicans voting yes, the proposal came up short.

Today’s political situation is surprisingly similar.

The Democratic Majority in Congress Will Support New Gun Laws, But They May Not Reach the 60-Vote Limit Because Republicans Won’t Vote It – As HuffPosters jennifer bendery, igor bobik And Arthur Delaney Confirmed with his report today.

And while most Democratic senators would be willing to trash the filibuster, which would make it possible for Democrats to pass legislation on their own, they would need absolute unanimity in their caucuses. they do not have.

Yes, You Can Guess Which Democratic Senator Has Already Dismissed The Idea,

Supreme Court may make the situation worse

So the chances of the new law being passed are slim. But this is not the most distorted part of the political outlook.

It’s quite possible that the next few weeks will bring about a major change in gun regulation – one that actually makes the country’s already weak gun laws even weaker than they are now.

Such laws have been in place for a long time; New York dates back more than a century. But it is facing a legal challenge that received a sympathetic hearing in November by the court’s conservative majority. If they rule against New York law, it could put a whole bunch of other gun safety laws in legal jeopardy — and over time, they could be wiped from the books.

a mixture of patience and anger

One of the reasons gun rights enthusiasts have achieved so much is that they kept at it, even when the prospects seemed bleak. In the decades-long campaign, which scholars Reva Siegel and Michael Waldman later documented, gun rights champions continued to push for changing the public’s mind, developing genuine logic, and ultimately bringing like-minded people to power.

This is probably what it is going to do to enact new gun safety measures – although proponents of these measures face an additional burden, as they will have to reform the government themselves. The familiar structural advantages that benefit conservatives because of their geographic distribution and over-representation in the Senate and Electoral College also help champion gun rights.

Work to undo these benefits has already begun, as well as efforts to enact new gun safety laws. It’s not easy to see or appreciate right now, but the group of groups pushing these causes are bigger and more active than they were ten years ago, after Sandy Hook – in no small part because tragedies really made people act. is inspired to, and has received the attention of some big funders as well.

But sustaining those efforts as well as maintaining that sense of hope requires energy. And hope is clearly in short supply in moments like this – which is why even a display like O’Rourke can make a difference. They validate feelings of desperation, and demonstrate that leaders are not giving up.


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