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John Cornyn: Wait, Did I Say 'Gun Bill'? Pretty Sure I Said 'Guns Are SWELL'
You probably just heard it wrong.
Fresh off announcing Monday that he was certain there was "rock solid" support for the bipartisan gun bill framework from at least 10 Republicans in the Senate — presumably including himself — Sen. John Cornyn, the lead GOP negotiator on the package, told a reporter Wednesday that all he wants in the world is for Democrats to please just make some sense to Republicans for once, please .
Cornyn noted that he and other members of the bipartisan group would meet Wednesday afternoon to nail down specifics of the bill, including a provision that would close the so-called "boyfriend loophole." Current federal law prohibits anyone from owning a gun if they've been convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse toward a spouse or former spouse , or toward someone with whom they've cohabited or had a child. The bipartisan framework announced over the weekend would extend that prohibition to non-married romantic partners who've been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence or stalking as well. The problem, Cornyn said, was that he and other Republicans were worried about the exact definition of who the new law would apply to.
Sometimes when people use the same word they mean it differently or people hear it differently. So getting it in writing is critical.
Cornyn explained that he's open to broadening the pool of offenders who might be prevented from owning firearms, but that
I'm begging [Democrats] to come up with something that I can get my arms and my head around right now because we need something very clear. And so far, we haven't gotten there yet.
Oh shit, this is about LGBTQ people isn't it? Cornyn didn't say that exactly, but I bet you a nickel it's at least in part about what kind of domestic abuse victims "deserve" protection. Or maybe he's worried that if non-married partners/former partners are kept from owning a gun over a little old misdemeanor domestic violence conviction, the law might keep firearms out of the hands of abusers who weren't really truly abusive, and just a little bit abusive? No telling.
Probably he's worried it might somehow help trans people. Just guessing wildly there.
Heck, maybe Cornyn's just setting up an escape route, so Republicans can vaguely blame "vague Democratic terms" if they decide to chicken out on passing even the mildest gun law.
Still, Sen Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), the lead Democratic negotiator, said there wasn't too much to worry about, saying he believed any issues in writing the bill seemed "overcome-able" and that “There’s always going to be some polite disagreements over how that turns into text."
HuffPost's Igor Bobic explains that while many Republicans had previously opposed closing the "boyfriend loophole" when it was included in renewals of the Violence Against Women Act, Cornyn told him that the measure was included in the new gun framework because it was “important to our Democratic colleagues.” That translates to Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), who pushed for it to be included , although closing the loophole has been a longtime project for many Democrats, most notably Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who introduced the first bill to fix the loophole in 2013.
The change really would make a lot of victims of domestic violence safer; as HuffPost reports,
Nearly half of all women killed in America are murdered by a current or former intimate partner, and research shows that access to a gun makes it five times more likely an abusive partner will kill his female victim. Every month in the United States, 70 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner, according to Everytown For Gun Safety. Women in the United States are 21 times more likely to be killed with a gun than women in other wealthy nations.
And there is a strong link between domestic violence and mass shootings. Research from The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence found about two-thirds of mass shooters between 2014 and 2019 either killed a partner or family member or had a history of domestic violence. The perpetrators of the massacres of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in 2016, and of 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in 2017, both had histories of domestic violence.
It also really says something about America's culture of guns, violence, and misogyny that we have plenty of data with which to recognize such correlations, and now I believe it would be a good idea to lie right here on this kitchen floor for a while.
And of course we don't even have a draft bill yet. We won't be at all surprised if some Republicans announce that whatever shape the legislation takes, they simply can't bring themselves to support any of it because the very phrase "boyfriend loophole" has ever been said at any point in history by anyone, making the bill discriminatory against men and far too tainted to consider. And some clever "Christian" lawmaker will no doubt explain that if women want to be protected from gun violence, they should do the right thing and marry their abusers.
Why yes, there's room on the floor here, and the Roomba just swept.
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