Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) who has been pushing gun control for the Democrats is trying to tamp down expectations already, saying that what senators are potentially talking about in a compromise with the Republicans would not include banning assault weapons — something both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris called for — or “comprehensive” background checks.
Murphy told CNN “State of the Union” co-anchor Jake Tapper that the bipartisan group of senators leading the talks following a recent string of high-profile mass shootings met again Saturday night, adding that negotiations are focused on mental health funding, school safety measures and “modest but impactful” gun control proposals.
“We’re not going to do everything I want,” Murphy said.
“We’re not going to put a piece of legislation on the table that’s going to ban assault weapons, or we’re not going to pass comprehensive background checks,” he said. “But right now, people in this country want us to make progress. They just don’t want the status quo to continue for another 30 years.”
I’m all for focusing on mental health (which is almost always a factor), not to mention school safety. The question, of course, is what is meant by “modest but impactful” gun control?
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) designated to negotiate with the Democrats, said more restrictive gun laws were “not gonna happen.”
“I’ve never been part of negotiations as serious as these,” Murphy said on Sunday. “There are more Republicans at the table talking about changing our gun laws and investing in mental health than at any time since Sandy Hook.” [….]
Murphy said the group is also focusing on strengthening background checks and incentivizing states to implement red flag laws — which allow people to petition a court to temporarily confiscate firearms from owners considered risks to themselves or others — and providing funds for states with existing red flag legislation.
Murphy says he’s hoping that they have concrete ideas to present to their fellow lawmakers in the coming week. But he also said it was possible that they wouldn’t reach any agreement. In fact, it may be more in line with American citizens’ desires than not to reach an agreement. As a recent Gallup poll found, most Americans aren’t looking for stricter gun laws at this point, no matter how much Democrats have tried to politicize the issue.
What was hilarious was Murphy’s answer when he was asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” if he thought it would be helpful to get Joe Biden involved, and he immediately turned down that thought.
“I think the Senate needs to do this ourselves,” Murphy replied. “[B]ut right now the Senate needs to handle these negotiations.” Even the Democrats understand that the involvement of Joe Biden would just mess things up, and they’re rejecting Biden’s wish list because they know they can’t get it.