Thank goodness the NRA took to YouTube today to reassure America’s gun owners they they’re still fighting for the unfettered right to keep and bear arms. Otherwise gun owners would be forgiven for worrying that a significant portion of those ostensibly on the gun rights side in Congress had strayed off the reservation.
The gargantuan, omnibus, all-encompasing, colossal, ginormous spending bill that’s racing toward passage has a few nasty surprises in it.
In a last-minute deal, congressional leaders also agreed to add provisions that would improve the national background check system for gun purchases and provide safety grants to schools to guard against future mass shootings.
Negotiators also agreed to roll back the so-called Dickey amendment, which opponents say has had a chilling effect on federal gun violence research and barred the CDC from advocating gun control.
The gun issues remained a holdup in the talks throughout the week as Schumer pushed for more aggressive firearms restrictions, according to a source familiar with the talks. Sen. Chris Murphy, a co-sponsor of the Fix NICS bill with Sen. John Cornyn, personally made the case to Democratic leadership to accept the compromise, even if it didn’t go as far as they wanted, the person said.
House conservatives were also furious that GOP leaders agreed to include the Fix NICS provision in the bill. Members of the Freedom Caucus said they had been promised that the provision — favored by Trump and a bipartisan group of lawmakers — would only be considered alongside a gun-rights friendly measure to honor concealed carry permits across state lines.
Conspicuous by its absence in the 2,232 page bill: national concealed carry reciprocity.
So in terms of gun control, what we have here is more creeping incrementalism. The congressional GOP seems to have given way on a variety of wish list items the anti-gun droogs have long desired without getting anything in return. If you’ve got Connecticut’s Chris Murphy arguing for passage, you know you’ve done something wrong. Or you should.
The GOP is known as The Stupid Party for a reason.