February 21, 2013
More than a week after President Obama demanded that gun violence victims “deserve a vote” on new legislation, we’re no closer to any of these bills seeing the floor of Congress then we were a week ago. That’s largely because Congress is in recess, of course, but those legislators who have been asked about firearm laws since returning to their districts, from Connecticut to Colorado, don’t appear to be budging.
Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina told a meeting of his constituents that bans on assault weapons and large ammunition clips wouldn’t pass, and he wouldn’t vote for them anyway. Joe Heck of Nevada, another Republican, agrees with him. Even when confronted with one of the people Barack Obama was talking about (the mother of one of the victims of the Aurora, Colorado, shooting) John McCain gave her some of his famous “straight talk” and told her the assault weapons ban isn’t happening. Which should not be a surprise to anyone at this point.
The only progress at all seems to be happening on the state level. Colorado’s House of Representatives just passed four major gun bills that would strongest of almost any Western state, and the biggest package to arrive since the Aurora and Newtown shootings last year. In Connecticut, Governor Dan Malloy is vowing to shove new gun control rules through his state legislature, which his party controls. They have the advantage of party strength, fewer people to convince, and recent shooting sprees that hit very close to home.