Watch: Kyrsten Sinema's Senate speech on guns criticized as 'meaningless both sides word salad'

Watch: Kyrsten Sinema's Senate speech on guns criticized as 'meaningless both sides word salad'
United States Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) (screengrab/@atrupar/Twitter).

United States Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) gave a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday in which she called upon Democrats and Republicans to set aside intraparty bickering and solve the uniquely American problem of unending gun violence.

The Senate on Tuesday advanced the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act which lawmakers believe holds the potential to save lives. But members of the right-wing Republican caucus in the House of Representatives, led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California), have expressed their opposition to the measure, claiming that it infringes upon the Second Amendment.

An aide to House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) – himself a survivor of a mass assassination attempt – told Politico that Scalise intends to rouse his GOP colleagues to vote against it.

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Sinema, meanwhile, urged cooperation so that Congress can finally deliver something that protects the public.

"Common sense proposals have been tossed to the side by partisan lawmakers choosing politics instead of solutions. Elected officials have made a habit of insulting one another for offering thoughts and prayers, for blaming violence on strictly mental illness or video games or particular kinds of weapons, or any cause that didn't align with and confirm their own predetermined beliefs," Sinema said.

"Casting blame and trading political barbs and attacks became the path of least resistance, but the communities across our country who have experienced senseless violence deserve better than Washington politics as usual," the Senator continued. "Our communities deserve a commitment from their leaders to do the hard work of putting aside politics, identifying problems that need solving, and working together toward common ground and common goals."

Watch below via Vox's Aaron Rupar:

While Sinema's words appeared to be well-intended, observers were less than thrilled with her address.

Many saw it as a "both sides" argument that has little hope of yielding results.

Others remarked that she avoided mentioning the core issue – that there are too many guns and easy access to them.

Outside of social media, renewed calls to repeal the Second Amendment have popped up.

Mercy College Professor of Philosophy and World Religions Sam Ben-Mier wrote in an editorial for Common Dreams on Wednesday that the Second Amendment is a "palladium of death," insisting that "if Americans are truly fed up, disgusted, and unwilling to let this terrible carnage continue then let them stand together and call for the Second Amendment to be repealed and replaced by a constitutional provision that is more relevant to the times in which we live."

Earlier this month, progressive radio host Bill Press said in a CNN op-ed that "the way many judges and conservatives interpret the Second Amendment is a total con job. And, as wildly misinterpreted today, it is, for all intents and purposes, a license to kill as many people as you want with as many guns as you want."

He added that "The only effective way to deal with the Second Amendment is to repeal it — and then replace it with something that makes sense in a civilized society."

Press also noted that he was "hardly the first person to say that the Second Amendment has been a disaster for this country. In fact, two Supreme Court justices — justices appointed by Republican presidents — have said as much."

Indeed, these positions are nothing new. Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger famously opined in a 1991 interview with PBS News:

The Gun Lobby’s interpretation of the Second Amendment is one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American People by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime. The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies – the militia – would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires.
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