This is untenable. And unconscionable, as Sen. Luján says.
The Senate is still having it’s bipartisan talks, and President Biden is speaking Thursday evening to “deliver remarks on the recent tragic mass shootings, and the need for Congress to act to pass commonsense laws to combat the epidemic of gun violence that is taking lives every day.”
Those talks in the Senate are reportedly inching along. "There is a framework for a bill," one source told NBC News. Republican Susan Collins said they were making “rapid progress.” Sen. Dick Blumenthal (D-CT) said discussions have been “productive and encouraging.” But have any of them talked to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Republican Mitch McConnell put in charge of pretending to act like they were doing something?
Probably not, because this is what Cornyn had to say Wednesday about the process and any possibility at all of making weapons of war harder for 18-year-olds to get their hands on: “Not gonna happen.”
That was after he told reporters Tuesday that meetings that day included a “very constructive conversation about the best response to the horrific events in Uvalde last week.” The assumption every one is working under is that Cornyn’s approval of anything is essential for McConnell to agree to anything, and nothing moves unless McConnell says so.
McConnell is at the “mental health and school safety” point of doing nothing constructive, so it will take 10 either very scared or very brave Republicans to buck him to do anything meaningful.
This is while the nation’s mayor—Democratic and Republican alike—are pleading for something to be done. Again. They just resent a letter, originally penned in August 2019, to Senate leaders Chuck Schumer and McConnell with this update:
In response to the recent tragedies in Uvalde and Buffalo and the continuing increase in gun violence that is plaguing our cities and our people across this nation, the U.S. Conference ofMayors today is reissuing the letter sent by more than 200 mayors to the United States Senate in August of 2019. The same two bills passed the House more than one year ago and are again pending in the Senate: H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act and H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act. We have updated the list of original signatories, removed those mayors who no longer are in office, and added new mayors who have asked to be listed.
They originally wrote immediately following the back-to-back massacres in El Paso and Dayton, events which were “just the latest reminders that our nation can no longer wait for our federal government to take the actions necessary to prevent people who should not have access to firearms from being able to purchase them.”
We’re still waiting, with no end to the casualty count in sight. That’s how Mitch McConnell has determined it will be.
Elie Mystal is on Daily Kos' The Brief podcast