We knew it was coming. Sen. Chuck Schumer vowed to bring a new assault weapon ban bill to a vote in the Senate this week.
Yet, as Cam noted on Wednesday, this wasn’t a serious vote. This wasn’t a legitimate attempt to get a vote, even.
Unsurprisingly, it went nowhere. Washington Sen. Patty Murray had some harsh words for Republicans.
“Weapons of war have no place on our streets or in our communities. Gun safety laws work—despite what the gun lobby and their Republican allies in Congress would have you believe, this debate is settled. The majority of Americans support banning assault-style weapons, and it’s infuriating to see Republicans once again put the gun lobby ahead of the people they represent by blocking our Assault Weapons Ban today.
“Common-sense gun safety laws save lives—and every time our nation lives through the horror and heartbreak of another mass shooting, we hear desperate pleas from people back home begging Congress to do something. Washington state has made important progress on gun safety laws, including passing an Assault Weapons Ban earlier this year, but state laws alone are insufficient when it’s still so easy to acquire an assault weapon or evade a background check just across the border in a different state.
“Federal action is essential to tackling the epidemic of gun violence head-on, and whether it’s funding research into gun violence prevention, or pushing for universal background checks, or calling for a vote on the Assault Weapons Ban bill like we did today—as long as I’m in Congress, I’ll keep fighting to advance common-sense gun safety measures that will make our communities safer.”
What Murray fails to note about assault weapon bans is that they don’t stop mass shootings and they don’t stop more garden-variety crimes, either.
Further, what happened on the Senate floor on Wednesday was nothing more than an attempt to flex. It was grandstanding, an attempt to show Democrats’ supporters that they’re doing something without having to go through the effort of, you know, doing anything.
As Cam noted, though, this required universal approval in order to come to a vote. Even a single voice saying, “nah” and the whole thing was scuttled. Schumer and Murray both had to know that was going to happen. If they couldn’t bring it to a vote through normal means then there was no way it was going to come to a vote this way.
Of course, Murray argues that the public supports assault weapon bans. They don’t want people owning these weapons, which is why every time an assault weapon ban is seriously considered, sales of AR-15s and other rifles on the chopping block skyrocket.
She also shouldn’t get her hopes up regarding polling. We’ve seen how that changes when people start learning details of these measures.
Regardless, this didn’t happen and it was never going to happen. This is about people like Murray and Schumer trying to look good for the cameras and give their allies in the media something to write about for the next few weeks.