Wednesday, July 6, 2022
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Date: July 6, 2022 4:32 am

After decades of legislative inaction on gun control, the United States Senate was unusually quick to approve a text agreed upon by representatives of both parties and released last Tuesday in just 48 hours. The Democrats have 50 of the 100 seats in the Upper House, and they needed the support of 10 Republicans to overcome the filibuster parliamentary hurdle, making 60 votes necessary for important issues like this: to limit the sanctity of the United States, which guarantees the second amendment. In the end, senators turned out to be superfluous: 65 people voted this Thursday evening for a law that imposes restrictions on access to weapons and breaks almost 30 years of paralysis. Thirty-three conservatives spoke (two were absent).

Far from the aspirations of President Joe Biden in this regard, certainly more ambitious, the norm comes on the same day that the Supreme Court issued a verdict that establishes (with the support of six justices and the opposition of the remaining three) the right to carry weapons in public, according to the application of two persons. They demanded a revision of the law, which required those with a gun license to present a good reason for carrying guns on the street. The consequences of this ruling extend beyond the State in which the complaint originated.

Gun store in Atlanta, Georgia with rifles for sale, picture taken this Thursday.

ERIK S. LESSER (EFE)

The actions of the Senate were triggered by the latest wave of mass shootings, the most tragic manifestations of which were recorded in Buffalo, New York, where an 18-year-old man killed 10 African Americans with a machine gun driven by white supremacists. , and in Uvalda, Texas, the site of a massacre that claimed the lives of 19 elementary school children and two of their teachers at the hands of a boy of the same age armed with the same rifle. It is clear that the Supreme Court, the most conservative in 80 years, manages a different class of priorities, and that they are not affected by the social upheavals that these tragedies have caused in the country.

Thus, the Capitol deprives the mind of those who hastened to assume that nothing will change this time, as already happened after the massacres in Sandy Hook (Newtown, Connecticut, 2012) or Parkland (Florida, 2018) , for I will give just two examples from the infamous recent history of gun violence in the United States.

A bill passed in the Senate strengthens background checks when gun buyers are under 21 (and over 18) and would require a comprehensive review of minors’ records, including mental health records, starting at age 16 to look for signs that discourage sale. It also provides incentives for states to pass “red flag” laws that allow guns to be temporarily confiscated from people a judge deems dangerous. It also increases federal investment in prevention and expands protection for victims of gender-based violence, closing what has been known as the “boyfriend loophole.” So far, only sexist aggressors who are married to their victims have been banned from owning guns.

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“Tonight, the United States Senate is doing what many thought was impossible a few weeks ago: is launching the first significant gun safety initiative in nearly 30 years,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. knowing the positive result of the vote. What remains now is the approval of the initiative by the House of Representatives, which is taken for granted, it is taken for granted that Biden will sign the text. The vote in the lower house is expected to take place as early as this Friday morning.

One of the most significant Republican signatories is Mitch McConnell, the party’s minority leader in the Senate. Keep in mind that most of the 15 Conservatives who joined did so because they are not running in an election this year where their constituents could punish them. The issue of guns remains a red line for the electoral base of many of these legislators.

Days after the shootings in Buffalo and Uwalda, President Biden addressed the nation in a dramatically staged speech calling on the Senate to do “something” before publishing its wish list: raise the minimum age for gun purchases from 18 to 21. , ban assault rifles, and curb high-capacity ammo.

Upon learning of the Senate agreement, which is not in line with his aspirations, Biden said: “Tonight, after 28 years of inactivity, members of both parties came together to heed the call of families across the country and passed a law to combat gun violence. in our communities. The Uvalde and Buffalo families, as well as too many previous tragic shootings, demanded action. And we acted.”

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Source: elpais.com

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