Thursday, March 21, 2013

Something's Happening (on Gun Safety.)

On Tuesday, we noted US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nevada) decision not to include the Assault Weapons Ban in what's supposed to be his comprehensive gun safety reform bill. He's actually gotten some blowback on this since Tuesday. Yesterday's news just seemed fo exacerbate this.

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Perhaps the blowback compelled Reid to say this on Twitter just moments ago.

Tonight, I'll start the process of bringing gun violence prevention bill to Senate floor. It will include provisions on background checks.

I will ensure that a ban on assault weapons, limits to high-capacity magazines, and mental health provisions receive votes.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) has been working on a new Assault Weapons Ban since December. And she's not the only one who wants it. So does President Obama. And so do these parents of Newtown massacre victims.

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Don't mistake what's happening now. The tide is finally turning. After enjoying nearly two decades of unchecked power on Capitol Hill, the gun lobby is finally being checked. And not only that, but Members of Congress are now noticing.

Of course, gun safety activists can't get too giddy just yet. After all, they will have to fight to include the Assault Weapons Ban and the high-capacity magazine ban via amendment(s). But at least now, even Senator Reid is recognizing the changing tide of public opinion and new momentum for gun safety reform.

There's clearly more work to be done. Not all of it may get done this year. But at least now, something's happening. And it's smart gun violence prevention legislation for a change.

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