As Americans were still reeling from the horror in Uvalde, Texas, lawmakers on the left side of the aisle repeatedly suggested that “this time, things were different”.
It was a shallow thing to say, and offensive to those who recall the tragedies in Columbine, Aurora, Parkland, and elsewhere. But, nevertheless, the sentiment permeated the American political discourse, (thanks in no small part to the work of the liberal media), and the Democrats were able to ride the coattails of this carnage right into a new gun control bill that is headed for Joe Biden’s desk this week.
The House sent President Joe Biden the most wide-ranging gun violence bill Congress has passed in decades on Friday, a measured compromise that at once illustrates progress on the long-intractable issue and the deep-seated partisan divide that persists.
The passage was far from unanimous.
The Democratic-led chamber approved the election-year legislation on a mostly party-line 234-193 vote, capping a spurt of action prompted by voters’ revulsion over last month’s mass shootings in New York and Texas. The night before, the Senate approved it by a bipartisan 65-33 margin, with 15 Republicans joining all Democrats in supporting a package that senators from both parties had crafted.
The bill was opposed by the NRA, as well as by a vast number of conservative Republicans, who largely feared that this erosion of the Second Amendment could signal a slippery slope ahead for other aspects of the right to bear arms.