A Hearing on Gun Laws 🔫

Cheriss May / NurPhoto / Getty Images

Cheriss May / NurPhoto / Getty Images

Democratic lawmakers host hearing on gun violence

Wednesday, the Democratically controlled House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to discuss measures to reduce gun violence in the US. Universal background checks, bans on high capacity magazines, and laws that would allow temporary removal of guns from citizens deemed unstable were discussed.

Congressman Scalise (R-LA) was not invited to speak

Congressman Steve Scalise – a Republican who was a victim of gun violence at a congressional baseball game in 2017 – expressed interest in speaking at the hearing, but was barred from doing so by the Democratically controlled committee.


Mother Jones: The House had its first gun hearing in years. the parents of Parkland victims refused to let the GOP lie.

ShareBlue: House holds first gun violence hearing in 8 years, after 1,952 mass shootings

The left sees this hearing as an important first step in addressing the gun violence “epidemic” facing our country. Articles from the left mostly do not address Scalise’s omission from the roster of speakers at the hearing and focus on the overwhelming support among American citizens for “common sense” gun legislation like universal background checks.


Fox News: Rep. Steve Scalise says House Dems refused to let him testify at gun violence hearing

Townhall: GOP Whip Scalise's Scathing Letter to Dems: Your Gun Control Bill Wouldn't Have Prevented My Shooting

The right sees this hearing as a one-sided, Democratic push for limitations on the 2nd Amendment. Articles from the right express outrage that Congressman Scalise, a victim of gun violence, was barred from speaking. The right points to Scalise’s remarks about the hearing (he does not support gun control) and argue the left was suppressing valid opposition to Democratic views on guns.

Should Scalise have had a chance to speak at the hearing?

Yes! Scalise was the victim of gun violence – his perspectives on the effects of guns in the US ought to be heard by legislators tasked with driving gun policy. Gun violence is an epidemic in the US and our current gun laws are almost surely a driving factor. Republicans and Democrats share control of government at the moment, so compromise is the only way to make change, legislative and otherwise. Preventing Scalise from speaking at the hearing inflamed existing political divisions and made compromise harder to achieve.

The fruits of compromise are sweet – sometimes you get Old El Paso Hard & Soft Taco shells, and sometimes you get non-partisan gun reform.

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