There's a proposal crawling through Congress now that would expand background checks before a body could buy a gun. The bill would encourage states and the United States military to submit conviction records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The idea got its first real traction after it was learned the guy who shot up that church--and 26 people--in Sutherland Springs, Texas, last year had been previously court-martialed for domestic abuse.
But, as mentioned, the bill is crawling.
Why? Because politicians, in both major parties, are making the perfect the enemy of the good:
Some Democrats are said to oppose the measure because it doesn't do more--and they don't want to vote for this bill if they don't get a lot more gun control on the plate. "If all Congress does in response to the [Florida] shooting is to pass 'Fix NICS,' we won't have done our job," says the one and only (thankfully) Chuck Schumer, who has more bad ideas than the United Nations.
So he'd allow more crazies to slip through the cracks? Say it ain't so, Chuck.
On the other but equally factional side, you have GOP senators like Mike Lee and Rand Paul, who never saw a headline they didn't like, as long as it included their names. Mike Lee, of Utah, says he wants more assurances of appeals for those convicted of crimes, and Rand Paul, being Rand Paul, probably has some sort of Libertarian hangup with this bill, as he does with most bills. (Senator Paul reminds us of the old Irishman who landed on our shores some years ago and announced quite seriously as he got off the boat, "I don't know what kind of government you've got over here, but whatever it is, I'm agin it!")
There's been a lot of talk over the last few weeks about "common-sense" gun legislation. This seems to be one of them. Even the NRA has come out in support of expanding background checks this way. And its chief sponsor is John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas. President Trump, for the moment, backs the bill, too.
Let's get this done. Save the political games for something less consequential.
Editorial on 03/03/2018
Print Headline: Enemy of the good