Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) blocked an attempt by Democrats on Thursday to move a gun control bill out of committee and into the voting process, saying it was “hostile” to legal gun owners.
According to Newsmax, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) made the request for “unanimous consent” to forward the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, citing a school shooting in Michigan in which four students were killed just days earlier.
“I want to tell you why I’m making this request,” Murphy said, as Newsmax reported. “I understand the low likelihood of success, but I hope many of my colleagues took a minute to watch the cell phone video from the school shooting in Michigan,” he added.
“I don’t claim that this proposal nor any other proposal to change the nation’s gun laws will have an effect on every single shooting,” the senator said. Still, he argued reforms included expanded background checks would save lives, Newsmax reported.
Don’t let a crisis go to waste
What Murphy didn’t say was that his bill likely would not have prevented the Michigan shooting. But that doesn’t matter to Democrats, who use these deadly shootings to demagogue the issue.
It’s yet another example of Democrats trying not to let a crisis go to waste.
Thankfully, Grassley stood up to it.
According to Newsmax, the Republican senator called the bill, which was passed by Democrats in March, “hostile towards lawful gun owners and lawful firearm transactions” and argued that “so-called universal background checks will not prevent crime and will turn otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals.”
Grassley was able to block the bill in good conscience because he had his own alternative at the ready: The Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act of 2021.
Grassley’s bill improves the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by giving incentives for accurately reporting mental health and other records in a timely manner so that people not qualified to have guns can be identified.
It also gives grants to states that comply with reporting requirements, requires the NICS to report to Congress, and clarifies the definition of mental illness that would disqualify a gun purchase.
While it’s doubtful any law that puts more controls on who can own guns is a good idea, if Grassley’s alternative bill gave him the courage to stand up to Democrats to protect Americans’ constitutional rights, it can’t be all bad.