• January 28, 2023

Senate hearing on gun violence follows Boulder, Atlanta mass shootings

WASHINGTON – With another ward grieving after the second mass shootings in a week, a Senate hearing on Tuesday – “Constitutional and Common Sense Steps to Reduce Gun Violence” – gained urgency.

Senate Justice Committee Chairman Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Opened the hearing by calling gun violence in the United States a “public health crisis” and saying he could ask for a moment of silence, but “in addition.” I want to ask for a moment of action. A moment of real caring. “

“Prayer leaders have their important place in it, but we are Senate leaders. What do we do?” Asked Durbin. “We’re not going to solve this crisis by prosecuting funerals. We need prevention before shooting. “

On Monday evening, A gunman opened fire at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, killing 10 peopleincluding a police officer. Officials did not disclose the identity of a man who was handcuffed away from the store, but said he was the only person who was not fatally injured.

The shooting takes place less than a week after a shooter opened fire on local businesses in the United States Atlanta, killing eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent. The attacks sparked national grief and outrage over racism, misogyny and gun violence.

“It doesn’t have to be like that”

“While we don’t know much yet, one thing is very clear: tragic incidents of gun violence have plagued our country for far too long,” said Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., Who represents Boulder in Congress. said in a statement Monday.

“It doesn’t have to be that way. There are steps we can – and must – take to protect our community; sensible, broadly supported proposals that will save lives,” said the congressman.

Senator Dick Durbin, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, pronounced Monday evening.

“In the week leading up to this hearing, two mass shootings rocked the nation. And they’re not just mass shootings: an average of 109 Americans lose their lives to gun violence every day, according to the CDC. It is long past fighting this nation’s gun violence epidemic,” explained Durbin.

In 2020 over 41,000 people were killed by gun violenceA record that, according to experts, was supported by public health, business and society Coronavirus pandemic fallout.

House handed gun bills. Will the Senate?

The hearing follows the passage of the house on March 11th from two acts,who are now facing a battle in the equally divided Senate::

The bipartisan background check lawwould expand the background checks for those looking to purchase or transfer firearms. It would not create a registry or other federal review mechanism, but rather expand the cases where a background check is required for the sale or transfer of a firearm, including individuals and groups, thereby filling the “arms display gap”. The requirements would apply to online sales.

The bill went through the house with a margin of 227-203. It received eight Republican votes and one Democrat voted against.

The Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 would similarly fill the “Charleston Gap,” a loophole in federal law that allows arms sales to resume without a background check completed after three business days have passed. It is related to a 2015 shooting in Charleston, South Carolina in which a white supremacist used the loophole to obtain firearms with which he killed nine black people during a Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church. The bill would extend the initial background check period from three to ten days.

The bill was passed by two Democrats and two Republicans between 219 and 210.

The law against violence against womenalso includes a provision that would close the so-called “friendship gap” that gives previously convicted abusive partners, spouses and stalkers access to firearms. That part of the bill entangled the remainder of the package in gun control policy and hampered its chances of passage.

The majority of Republicans polled agree with certain weapons measures

While Second change and gun control are perceived as politically divisive Problem, many measures have support from both Democratic and Republican members of the public, According to a 2019 survey by the non-partisan Pew Research Center.

Those who prefer background checks for private gun sales and sales at gun exhibits:

  • 93% of Democrats
  • 82% of Republicans

Prefer the ban on high capacity magazines:

  • 87% of Democrats
  • 54% of Republicans

Do you prefer the ban on assault weapons:

  • 88% of Democrats
  • 50% of Republicans

With Democrats unifying control of Congress and the White House for the first time in ten years, and with gun violence mounting, many lawmakers insist that now is the time for reform.

Senator Chris Murphy, D-Conn., A longtime gun control attorney, stated Monday night: “This is the moment to make our point. NOW” on arms legislation in Congress on the grounds that a political moment had finally come that was favorable for stronger arms legislation.

Jack

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