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Is the Bipartisan Gun Bill a Remedy or Slap in the Face to the US People?

Ruger AR-15 semi-automatic riflesThe Bipartisan Safer Communities Act includes gun control provisions and funding to increase access to mental health care. The bill followed brutal shooting sprees in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.”The bill is not a panacea for America’s gun problems but it does meaningfully address important problems, including greater background scrutiny of the most crime-prone age group (those 18-21), provide funding to encourage more states to adopt red flag laws, which numerous studies demonstrate are effective, provide more funding for mental health programs and for community violence intervention programs (also shown to be effective), and maybe most important[ly], addresses the ‘boyfriend loophole’ (related to domestic violence),” explained Robert Spitzer, a gun control expert and professor at State University of New York College at Cortland.However, the text of the bill lacks the provisions previously advocated by President Joe Biden, including a ban on assault rifle sales and raising the threshold for the sale of semi-automatic rifles to 21.Despite being touted as a “bipartisan” initiative, the bill immediately came under harsh criticism from the House Freedom Caucus made up of the conservative Republicans and the influential National Rifle Association (NRA).© AP Photo / Sue OgrockiPeople walk by NRA convention signage in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Thursday, May 3, 2018. The convention is scheduled to go through Sunday.People walk by NRA convention signage in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Thursday, May 3, 2018. The convention is scheduled to go through Sunday.The Freedom Caucus pledged to “oppose any legislation that implements, funds, or expands unconstitutional and ineffective red flag laws,” while the NRA argued that the proposed bill “can be abused to restrict lawful gun purchases, infringe upon the rights of law-abiding Americans.””Backers of the bill cannot be deterred because opponents of it will be unhappy about it,” argued Spitzer. “None of it violates actual gun rights. And the formation of a genuine bipartisan coalition in favor of the bill is by itself a very important step for the US Senate, coming at a time when such bipartisanship is very rare.”According to the gun control expert, “organizations like the NRA simply do not want to see any kind of movement on gun legislation, even though it is directed at keeping guns away from people who shouldn’t have them.”However, MAGA Republicans and conservative media pundits say that the recently proposed gun control legislation is nothing short of a slap in the face to law-abiding Americans.”It does away with due process and enables these red flag laws which have already been found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court,” stressed Michael Shannon, a political commentator and Newsmax columnist. “These Republican incumbents are so complacent regarding the November vote and they’re so convinced that they can do anything that they may wind up undermining their own red wave and turning it into a pink tide.”The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act has received support from 50 members of the Democratic caucus and 14 Republicans in the upper chamber, so far. Senate lawmakers hope to pass the bill prior to the July 4 recess. On Thursday, the upper chamber is poised to take a critical vote to overcome filibuster and advance the legislation. This will require 60 votes, meaning that at least 10 Republicans must join with Democrats to vote in favor.

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