Many Democratic candidates for president have expressed their views on gun reforms they believe are necessary, following two mass shootings that occurred in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend that left dozens dead and more injured.
One candidate in particular, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, recently discussed a structural change in Congress that might be necessary for any changes to come about: ending the filibuster. O’Rourke made the assertion that ending the practice in the Senate would be necessary on a popular progressive podcast, Pod Save America, this week, Axios reported.
O’Rourke also discussed other gun reforms he’d be in favor of, including a federal buyback program to the lessen the number of certain guns, such as assault rifles, in American society.
“It absolutely has to be a part of the conversation,” O’Rourke explained.
At least two other candidates for president, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Gov. Jay Inslee, have also expressed their desire to end the Senate filibuster in the past.
President Donald Trump this week expressed his support for legislation that would strengthen background checks on gun sales, suggesting in a tweet that such a measure could be successful if it were tied to an immigration bill.
….this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform. We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2019
“Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform,” Trump said.
Yet the president made similar calls for changes in the wake of another shooting, in a Parkland, Florida, high school, that occurred in February 2018, CBS News reported. He also backed efforts to raise the age of purchasing guns across the country from 18 to 21, but ultimately Trump backed away from both proposals.
Even as Trump calls for reforms to come about, conventional wisdom tells us that it will be an uphill battle, and won’t likely come about, especially with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell running the Senate, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.
McConnell has, so far, refused to allow his chamber to consider legislation passed by the Democratic-led House of Representatives, which passed a bill strengthening background checks in February this year.