Gun Control

GOP Leaders Look to Avoid Fight with Base Over Guns

“Republican leaders on Capitol Hill are signaling that they want the Trump administration to write new regulations for a gun accessory that may have allowed the Las Vegas shooter to fire hundreds of rounds per minute,” The Hill reports.

“While not explicitly ruling out legislation to outlaw bump stocks, the GOP leaders’ words and actions suggest they’d rather avoid a head-on fight with the National Rifle Association — which prefers a regulatory approach to passing a new law.”

NRA Supports New Rules on ‘Bump Stock’ Devices

“The National Rifle Association endorsed tighter restrictions on devices that allow a rifle to fire bullets as fast as a machine gun — a rare, if small, step for a group that for years has vehemently opposed any new gun controls,” the New York Times reports.

“Twelve of the rifles the Las Vegas gunman, Stephen Paddock, had in a high-rise hotel suite when he opened fire on a crowd on Sunday were outfitted with ‘bump stocks,’ devices that allow a semiautomatic rifle to fire hundreds of rounds per minute, which may explain how he was able to shoot so quickly, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds of others. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has ruled that bump stocks do not violate laws that tightly limit ownership of machine guns, and some lawmakers have called for them to be banned.”

Some GOP Senators May Be Open to ‘Bump Stock’ Ban

“Top Senate Republicans said Wednesday they are open to considering legislation banning devices that were reportedly used to gun down scores of people in the worst mass shooting in modern American history,” Politico reports.

“No Republican has yet joined Democrats in endorsing a bill targeting bump stocks, but their comments suggest a potential shift in the party’s typically hard-line opposition to gun control measures.”

Quote of the Day

“I just think that common sense has to prevail. But until that happens, until other people feel the same, we’re at a stalemate and that’s a shame.”

— Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), quoted by the New York Times, on Republicans refusing to consider any gun control legislation.

Why Americans Want Their Guns

Peggy Noonan on Morning Joe: “There is a sense that society is collapsing — the culture is collapsing. We’re collapsing in crime. The world is collapsing. Crazy people with bad haircuts have nukes. Everything is going bad — terrorism, etc. They want to be fully armed on their hill, at home… They’re Americans, and they want to go down fighting.”

On Politicizing a Mass Shooting

Thomas Friedman: “If only Stephen Paddock had been a Muslim… If only he had shouted ‘Allahu akbar’ before he opened fire… No one would be telling us not to dishonor the victims and ‘politicize’ Paddock’s mass murder by talking about preventive remedies. No, no, no. Then we know what we’d be doing. We’d be scheduling immediate hearings in Congress about the worst domestic terrorism event since 9/11.”

Gun Control Is Now a Defining Issue

FiveThirtyEight: “Opposition to gun control laws is now a default position of the Republican Party, and guns as an issue has become one of the most polarized topics in modern American politics. More than that, it’s become a defining issue — which party people choose to identify with is inextricably intertwined with their relationship with guns and gun policy.”

“Just 22% of self-identified Democrats chose protecting gun ownership rights over limiting gun access, compared with the 76% of Republicans who did. This 54-point gap is about as wide as you’ll see on any issue.”

Inhofe Blames Sanctuary Cities for Mass Shootings

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) told Vox that gun laws don’t affect gun violence, instead it’s the existence of “sanctuary cities” that creates a lawless culture fostering mass shootings like the one in Las Vegas.

Said Inhofe: “That has a lot more to do with mass shootings than gun owners laws. You can go ahead and break a law and you can come to a sanctuary city, and they wouldn’t enforce the laws.”

McConnell Dismisses Any Talk of Gun Control

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “shut down all talk of legislative remedies to gun violence” after the Las Vegas massacre, mirroring the remarks by Speaker Paul Ryan,” Politico reports.

He declared this is simply not the time to be talking about legislation targeting firearms.

Said McConnell: “The investigation has not even been completed. I think it’s premature to be discussing legislative solutions, if there are any.”

‘End of Everything’ If Trump Supports Gun Control

Jonathan Swan: “Since the Las Vegas shooting, we’ve spoken or texted with more than 20 sources inside and out of the White House — all people who’ve worked close enough to Trump to have something useful to say about his likely next moves. Most say they can’t imagine him doing a Chuck-and-Nancy deal on gun control.”

“They say that while he bathed in the glowing media coverage after his surprise debt ceiling deal with the Democrats; he’ll be very reluctant to do anything like that on guns: He feels closer to the NRA than just about any outside group.”

“I asked Steve Bannon whether he could imagine Trump pivoting to the left on guns after the Las Vegas massacre. ‘Impossible: will be the end of everything,’ Bannon texted. When asked whether Trump’s base would react worse to this than they would if he supported an immigration amnesty bill, Bannon replied: ‘as hard as it is to believe actually worse.'”