On Monday morning, CNN’s Jim Sciutto and John Harwood devoted a segment to fretting that, as per the latter, the Constitution’s respect for rural areas makes it unlikely that any new gun control will be passed in response to last week’s mass shooting in Sacramento.
Even though few details have been revealed, Harwood served as a White House spokesperson in listing several President Joe Biden’s gun rights proposals. They were typically not related to the events of high-profile mass killings.
After Sciutto recounted details of the deadly event (including that a stolen gun might have been involved), he added: “President Biden condemned the shooting and has called on Congress to strengthen gun laws at the federal level[.]Harwood was then brought to the table. He asked: “Whenever we see this, or any other call for gun legislation. I must ask you: Does this have any support? Will this be largely an empty push?
Harwood, recalling President Barack Obama’s failure to get gun restrictions in place after hearing that “no”, was the correct answer:
The Newtown massacre, more than ten years ago was the most horrific example of this horrendous movie. Barack Obama learned that when schoolchildren are being massacred, that is not enough to get Congress to do something. And we’ve got a situation where President Biden, at the beginning of his administration, took some of the regulatory steps that you could take by executive order, but they’re very limited.
Harwood then lamented Biden would not be able to “make a dent” on the gun issue unless laws are passed by Congress, which could take action on things like banning “high-capacity magazines, banning assault weapons,” and “making gun manufacturers liable for lawsuits[.]”
He pointed out then that Senate Democrats wouldn’t be able to pass new laws due to opposition to guns in rural areas.
However, there isn’t enough support. As you all know, Democrats have only 50 votes in Senate. It takes 60 votes to pass gun legislation. We have a political system which magnifies rural areas’ political influence through the Senate.
CNN Newsroom’s episode was sponsored by The Farmer’s Dog. You can find their contact information here.
The following is a transcription:
April 4, 2022
JIM SCIUTTO: Right now, police are searching for multiple suspects after a mass shooting in downtown Sacramento left six people dead, 12 others injured. Police say that social media video appears to show an altercation before the shooting which took place early Sunday morning. Look at all those bullet casings there. Police now reviewing hundreds of pieces of evidence, including a stolen handgun. President Biden condemned the shooting and has called on Congress to strengthen gun laws at the federal level, at the national level. John Harwood (CNN White House Senior Correspondent) joins us. John, whenever we hear this, or any other call for gun legislation in the news, I must ask: Does this have any support? Is this just a flimsy push?
JOHN HARWOOD : Jim, I believe the answer is yes. This will not be much of a push. This horrible movie has been shown before. It was most notably in Newtown, which took place more than 10 year ago. Barack Obama learned that when school children are being massacred, that is not enough to get Congress to do something. And we’ve got a situation where President Biden, at the beginning of his administration, took some of the regulatory steps that you could take by executive order, but they’re very limited.
Legislation is essential to address this problem. So, h’s called on yesterday or over the weekend a ban on ghost guns, requiring background checks for all purchases, doing something about high-capacity magazines, banning assault weapons, making gun manufacturers liable for lawsuits which would be a way for people to extract money and perhaps change the behavior of the gun industry.
However, there isn’t enough support. The Senate has 50 votes for Democrats. Gun legislation can only be passed with 60 votes. And we have a system in which the Senate magnifies rural areas, which do not agree that gun regulation is an important step to curbing gun violence. This is why I believe we are in an election year when the President of America will call for it. It will be urged by Democrats. They’re going to both try to motivate their voters behind that, but in the near term, it’s not going to go anywhere legislatively.
SCIUTTO : Yes, the same mix of obstacles. John Harwood, White House, thank you so much.