Monday, June 27, 2016

Latest Massacre Ignites Gun Debate in Congress

The Orlando terrorist attack was one of the largest mass shootings in the nation’s history, and you can bet people are taking sides in DC.

Immediate Reaction in Congress

Dems immediately filibustered in an attempt to bring Reps to the negotiating table on gun control. One of the hottest of hot-button issues, both sides believe they have both facts and emotion on their side, enough of both to win the day. It remains to be seen which side will invest the political capital necessary to get something done, either to end attempts or to pass legislation.
Last week the Democrats fired the first shot with a 15-hour filibuster demanding gun control legislation. Supporters cheered the move, saying it forced legislators to finally listen to Their Side. And both sides attached multiple amendments to a spending bill to shoehorn in their version of a response.

Unrelenting Opposing Teams

What hasn’t happened is any kind of reasonable debate. Chuck Schumer led the New York delegation and the Democrats against John Cornyn’s Texans and the GOP faithful. Neither side seemed particularly willing to budge.
Dems want a no-buy list that would force those placed on the list to prove in court why they deserve to be allowed a weapon. Reps are floating the idea of a no-buy list that forces the government to prove why a person should be on a list. And these are just the beginning of a flurry of bills submitted by both sides … none of which seem anywhere close to actually passing.

No Progress from Either Sides

At this point, both sides are hoping to grab momentum in the debate, but neither seems poised to press that advantage. It’s happened in the past, one side or the other will get an edge on this or any other issue only to surrender that edge without putting up much more than a token fight. For either side to actually push through legislation, they must bring the other side over to their way or thinking or find some sort of compromise that protects key interests on both sides.
What’s becoming abundantly clear is the American public are just as divided on this issue as are their representatives. As long as this continues to be the status quo, it looks like neither side will make any headway.

David Milberg is a financier in NYC.

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