Mitch McConnell touts bipartisan effort to 'target the problem which is mental illness and school safety'
U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who is close to becoming the longest-serving party leader in the Senate, says Republicans and Democrats next week “might be able to come together and target the problem” of guns, which he insisted was actually a “mental illness” problem.
After an 18-year-old who bought two AR-15 style assault rifles and over 1000 rounds of ammunition massacred 19 elementary school children, two teachers, and wounded 17 others in the third-deadliest school shooting in America, once again it appears there is a hint of minor movement by Republicans on Capitol Hill to agree to work with Democrats on America’s gun crisis.
There’s little reason to assume it will be successful, thanks to Republicans who oppose any legislation to help minimize gun violence and death, especially in an election year.
Sen. McConnell, who has taken in over $1.2 million from the NRA during his career (data only up to 2019), appears to have little intention to allow any substantive action on gun control.
He chose Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn to lead the Republicans in the discussion with Democrats, who are led by Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy.
A senior advisor to former Obama HUD Secretary Julián Castro, Sawyer Hackett, notes McConnell’s choice of Cornyn was very deliberate.
“Mitch McConnell whipped his caucus against gun legislation after Sandy Hook,” Hackett wrote on Monday. “John Cornyn is the author of the Senate bill to legalize nationwide concealed carry of guns.”
Refusing to take questions on Tuesday, McConnell did stop to talk to reporters for a moment.
“We have a group led by Senator Cornyn and Senator Murphy,” McConnell said, “discussing how we might be able to come together to target the problem which is mental illness and school safety.”
One reporter asked: “How does this make any difference from the previous times?” but McConnell walked away and did not stop to answer.
Experts say the problem is guns, not mental illness, and pinning the blame on mental illness is actually “harmful.”
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