According to Sen. Mitch McConnell, acts of “horrendous” violence like the two mass shootings we’ve had over the course of a week are not going to be addressed in the two gun safety bills that were passed earlier in the month of March.
“First of all, these acts of violence are horrendous,” the senator said during an appearance on Fox News program “America’s Newsroom.” “We’ve seen them happen periodically in our history. It reminds us that the real challenge here is mental illness and identifying people who are likely do this kind of thing in advance is very, very difficult.”
Calls for gun control measures to be passed have once again risen to the surface of the national conversation in light of a mass shooting in Atlanta where a man killed eight people, most of them Asian women at three different massage parlors and another shooting that took place at a Colorado supermarket. Ten people died in that horrific incident.
McConnell, though, said that if Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wants to bring up the issue of mass shootings and gun control, “we’ll be happy to debate it,” but still he thinks the focus should be on identifying people “in advance who have the capacity and the interest in carrying out these attacks.”
The House bills call for expanded background checks beyond those sought back in 2013 in a bill by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., that failed to advance. The background checks would include being required for transactions between private parties, at gun shows, over the internet, and would close the “Charleston Loophole” by stretching out the time for extended background checks.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday called for a ban on assault-style weapons and more tight gun control measures in the wake of the Boulder shootings. Vice President Kamala Harris, appearing on CBS “This Morning” Wednesday morning, echoed the call, imploring Congress, particularly the Senate, to pass gun control measures and said Biden is ready to sign the bills into law.
“The point here is Congress needs to act,” the vice president said. “On the House side, they did. There are two bills which the president is prepared to sign, and so we need the Senate to act.”
“First of all, it’s a federal takeover of the way we conduct elections, every election in America,” said the Kentucky Republican. “This bill is designed to make it easier to cheat, to subsidize campaigns by the federal government, and to have one party take over the enforcement of American elections,” said the senator. “It is an atrocity and we’ll do everything we can to defeat it.”
“You can’t pass most legislation with a simple majority in the Senate,” McConnell went on to say. “You have to have some kind of bipartisan buy-in and the bill doesn’t pass … we could have done that when my party was in the majority. President Trump actually asked us to. I said no, we were not interested in changing the fundamental nature of the United States Senate, which is designed on purpose to kill bad ideas or to reach a compromise so you can reach the supermajority threshold. It keeps America in the political center.”
Apparently, Biden has also not invited McConnell to the White House, which he says show that the administration is not interested in “doing anything on a bipartisan basis.”
So much for all the hot air and bluster about unity and coming together Biden spouted off at the beginning of his administration, right?
“They try to jam through everything on the hard left,” the senator said. “They are now cooking up yet another package. They will call it infrastructure. It will be a Trojan horse that includes massive tax increases on Americans. They are going hard left.”