Modest national progress in gun safety likely to have little impact in NC
For decades, American politicians have had a disturbing tendency to make big promises on combating gun violence in the wake of horrific mass shootings, and then, as the weeks go by, the headlines dwindle and the intimidation in gun lobby rises, loses interest.
You know the mantra: “We will continue to study the matter”, they say.
And tragically, the pattern seems to be repeating itself yet again. North Carolina senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, for example, have recently been lauded for their work with Democrats on modest federal gun safety reforms, but as veteran journalist Darrell Ehrlick of the Montanan Daily argues convincingly an essay published today by Policy Watchthe legislation is pathetically unambitious.
As he explains:
[The legislation] neither compels the gun industry or the gun lobby to do anything meaningful. And it certainly does nothing to curb the explosive expansion and development of different sophisticated weapons of war, nor will it impact what you can buy or gun sales, that have exploded over the past decade.
Instead, the new laws will simply put more work on the federal government, which will be blamed when something doesn’t work perfectly. The NRA and the arms manufacturers should be thrilled: they’re getting legislation disguised as action, but I see no reason to believe it will make much of a difference in situations like Uvalde, Sandy Hook, or Buffalo.
Ehrlick admits the legislation would prompt states to enact “red flag” laws — laws that allow courts to issue directives similar to domestic violence orders that would force people deemed dangerous to temporarily surrender their guns — but as he also notes, there would be no uniformity in the laws or any requirement that they be enacted.
Indeed, here in Tillis and Burr’s home state, their Republican colleagues in the State House have already made it clear that they have no intention of allowing a flag proposal to be considered. red so soon. In an interview with Policy Watch earlier this week, the longtime champion of such a law for North Carolina – Durham County State Representative and former state judge Marcia Morey – indicated that She had already received the message from House Speaker Tim Moore that her bill (which has never even received a hearing over a period of years) will be buried again in 2022.
The bottom line: While all advances – even the tiniest at the margins – are welcome, the supposed advances in addressing gun violence that we keep hearing about begin to look like a ball game. North Carolina voters, who overwhelmingly support tougher gun safety lawsmust not allow the politicians behind the scam to get away with it.