Knife to a gunfight: The Senate bipartisan firearm safety deal is timid

This is it? This is all?

Last month, America suffered the slaughter of 19 children and two teachers in Texas by a disturbed 18-year-old wielding an assault rifle, following the murder of 10 shoppers in Buffalo by a racist 18-year-old wielding another such weapon. Those massacres brought 2022’s mass shooting total to 250. And that’s a tiny subset of the gun violence plaguing America: gun-related deaths and homicides, most of them by handgun, have been hitting historic highs.


After all this, Senate Republicans and Democrats who were purportedly working ever so hard for weeks managed to broker a deal that won’t ban assault weapons or high-capacity magazines. Or even raise the age of possession of such weapons to 21. Or implement near-universal background checks. Or enact a national red flag law to prevent dangerous or unstable people from buying or owning guns.

Instead, Americans would have to settle for a federal grant program encouraging states to set up red-flag laws. Federal criminal background checks for gun buyers under 21 would for the first time require a mandatory search of juvenile records. More money would go to school security and mental health care, an essential admission that there’s nothing our nation can do about the fact that every so often, deranged people with guns will keep showing up with intent to kill.

It says something deeply damning that in a country where, since 1984, federal law has withheld highway funds from states that failed to establish 21 as the minimum drinking age the feds can’t even find their way to placing similar restrictions on tools designed to kill efficiently. We have no qualms with Sen. Chris Murphy, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and every other Democrat who in good faith sat with the few Republicans willing to talk. Republicans like John Cornyn who did engage deserve more credit than the many who refused. But to settle for these tweaks in the midst of an emergency is like getting out a can of Raid in the center of a locust swarm.

— New York Daily News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email