Shooting amendment: Democrats propose limiting gun ownership after massacres in Texas and Ohio
US Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris suggested that congressmen pass laws restricting the free sale of weapons. Such statements were made after two cases of mass shooting in the states of Texas and Ohio, which resulted in the death of 29 people. However, experts believe that in the near future the authorities will not take such measures. In their opinion, the decisive obstacle will be not so much the activity of influential lobbyists as the historically established tradition: the second amendment to the Constitution guarantees the Americans the right to bear arms. At the same time, analysts do not exclude that at the level of individual states restrictive measures will be taken.
US Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris called for the adoption of laws restricting the circulation of firearms, after the regular cases of mass executions in the country. Both politicians said that if they won the presidential elections, they would come up with such initiatives.
At the same time, Sanders attacked Donald Trump and the Republican Party with criticism. Democratic nominee called the mass executions a manifestation of "internal terrorism". With all these phenomena, Trump, in the opinion of the politician, does not fight or is not fighting enough. On the contrary, thanks to the statements and actions of the head of state in the country, the “dangerous, rooting culture of fanaticism” became widespread, he said.
“Mr. President, stop your racist, hate and anti-immigrant rhetoric. The language you speak creates an atmosphere that encourages violent extremists, ”Sanders said in his Twitter address to Trump.
According to the politician, the Republicans, using their control over the Senate of the United States Congress, are acting in favor of the influential weapon lobbyist, the National Rifle Association, and therefore cannot effectively deal with mass executions.
“Whenever a tragedy occurs, the senate trembles before the power of the National Rifle Association and stays idle. Further it is impossible. We need such a president and such a congress, which would listen to the opinion of the Americans, and not to the ideology of an extremist right-wing organization. We must adopt reasonable legislation on the safety of firearms, ”wrote Sanders on his Twitter.
After every tragedy the Senate, intimidated by the NRA's power, does nothing. This must change.
We need to be right and extremist organization.
Gun safety legislation. 2 /
Harris also called for a change in legislation on arms trafficking. In an interview with MSNBS, she urged Congress to take action.
“We should not live in fear for fear of mass executions. Congress is obliged to show courage and adopt reasonable legislation on the safety of firearms. If nothing is done there, then I will act, ”she emphasized.
Recall that in the United States during the day there were two mass executions of citizens. On August 3, 20 people were killed in a supermarket in El Paso (Texas). Law enforcement officers detained Patrick Crusius, a suspect in the crime. Before the attack, he published on the Internet a manifesto where he expressed solidarity with Brenton Tarrant, who killed over 50 people in New Zealand mosques in March of this year.
On the night of August 4, a second similar crime occurred. In the city of Dayton (Ohio), the offender opened fire near one of the bars. As a result, ten people were killed, including the gunman himself, whom the police eliminated while trying to detain.
The idea of Harris and Sanders to limit the sale of weapons in law will not be implemented in practice, experts say.
Thus, HSE professor Alexander Domrin stressed that now there are primaries in the Democratic Party, during which a fierce struggle for the right to become a candidate in the presidential election of 2020 has unfolded.
“Under these conditions, loud statements are being made about what this or that candidate wants to do if he comes to power, without specifying how he is going to implement it. We should not forget that the second amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right to own and carry weapons, ”said the expert.
According to him, “Harris and Sanders must achieve the abolition of the constitutional amendment, which was not yet the case in the history of the country, or accept the new amendment, which is also very difficult if not impossible”.
- Police are not the scene of the shooting in El Paso
- © Jose Luis Gonzalez
Domrin considers the statements of both politicians about the need for a law to limit arms trafficking to be populist and have a pronounced pre-election character.
As the analyst notes, Sanders and Harris represent the left wing of the Democratic Party. Among supporters of this ideological trend, the proposals to limit the circulation of weapons are quite popular, but this does not mean that they are supported in American society.
It is worth noting that one of the favorites of the election campaign, Joseph Biden, representing the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, did not support the idea of Sanders and Harris. According to the American media, in his comments on the tragedy in El Paso and Dayton, he condemned the criminals, called on the authorities to take decisive action, but did not support the adoption of any law relating to the circulation of weapons. Trump's reaction was the same.
American political scientist Mikhail Sinelnikov-Orishak, in an interview with RT, notes that ex-President Barack Obama also came up with proposals for amending weapons legislation.
“Obama did not succeed, and another Democrat president will fail. In the near future, it is doubtful to expect the adoption of a federal law concerning the restriction of the right to own weapons. But this does not mean that at the level of some states such laws cannot be passed, ”said Sinelnikov-Orishak.
"Accustomed to live with weapons"
Possession and storage of firearms is already part of American culture, so it is not easy for US residents to give up, says Domrin.
“To explain with someone’s lobbying the absence of a law that Harris and Sanders call for to adopt is to simplify the situation. Americans are used to living with weapons for centuries. Hundreds of years just can’t be crossed off, ”says the expert.
- A man with a rifle at the annual exhibition of weapons
- © Lucas Jackson
In addition, supporters of the restriction of the constitutional right to arms do not have indisputable, convincing arguments for most Americans, Domrin believes.
“Republicans remind Democrats that it’s not weapons that kill, people kill.” Americans die a thousand times more on roads as a result of traffic accidents than bullets. And now what? Cancel cars? "- The analyst said.
On the FBI website previously published a study on the shootings of citizens in the United States. It notes that last year there were 27 cases of shooting at people in public places in 16 states. Over the past three years, the leader in the number of executions is California. This state has one of the toughest weapons legislation in the United States.
Texas and Ohio, where mass executions took place on August 3 and 4, are also among the leaders of the list. Since 2016, eight cases of shooting at people in public places have been reported in Texas, and five in Ohio.
The FBI study does not give a clear explanation of what the motives of the mass murderers were. Among them are supporters of the far-right ideology, and among the dead are representatives of racial, national, religious or sexual minorities.
Many killers had previously identified mental problems, according to an FBI study. It should be noted that in ten cases of shooting at people in public places in 2018, criminals drove accounts with life.
As Sinelnikov-Orishak notes, whatever the reasons for the attacks on citizens, the introduction of a ban on the free possession of weapons in the United States is not the way out.
“There is a lot of it, it is already on hand. If you even limit the sale of weapons, the question arises what to do with the millions of trunks that are already in the homes of Americans. Take them out? But such a scenario looks even more fantastic than the abolition of the second amendment, ”summed up the expert.