Democrats Divided on Gun Control Laws
In the ongoing debate of the enactment of gun control laws the tides have shifted in favor of gun control opponents after months of a faltering NRA. The initial retort against gun control laws by the NRA involved a calling for more guns in schools and then followed with a controversial ad that featured President Obama’s daughters that many labeled as extremist. These initial mistakes, as many observers are calling them, have since been softened and more Democrats have grown more divided over the proposed reforms.
A more powerful footing of rallying gun owners and lawmakers has resulted in the unlikely passing of an assault weapons ban. Additionally, Senate Democrats have failed to entice a single Republican to back universal background checks and Congress recently solidified four gun-friendly laws as part of legislation to fund the government through September.
This past March, several gun-control hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee were looked upon unfavorably by Republicans and resulted in a denial of the bipartisan support needed to pass the full Senate. Specifically a universal background check proposal and a ban on military-style semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines were part of the gun-control laws that were denied by the Republicans.
After these hearings, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that he would not include the assault-rifle ban as part of the package he brings to the chamber floor out of fear that it will affect the other provisions that the Democrats are attempting to pass. As this will be left out it all but ensures that the ban on assault rifles will die as an amendment to the larger bill. “I think the worst of all worlds would be to bring something to the floor and it dies there,” said Reid.
Many Democrats are still confident that they will have some pull as public opinion polls have shown support for the enactment of tougher laws. Others Democrats are promoting the same message and are saying that the more controversial elements of the gun-control laws were never expected to pass Congress but were a negotiating technique used to help the other laws.
Opponents of the laws disagree and think that the unlikelihood of the assault-rifle ban will also create lesser odds for the passing of the other gun control laws. For pro-gun activists this is good news and indicates that the controversial NRA stance and ads did not have as bad as an effect as Democrats once hoped.
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