U.S. Sen. John Cornyn wants to “talk about gun policy.”
The Texas Republican has accepted a challenge by a California Democrat with whom he serves in the Senate, Dianne Feinstein, to start some discussion about what to do to prevent future slaughters such as the one that occurred on Valentine’s Day in Parkland, Fla.
Now, is this the start of a move toward legislating a solution to gun violence? I am not yet holding my breath.
Seventeen people died in the carnage. High school students who survived the slaughter have risen up to issue direct threats to politicians who block efforts to legislate a remedy.
As the Texas Tribune has reported: At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, brought the issue to the fore.
“Let’s take some action,” she said. “We cannot see this continue on.”
She then mentioned two areas where compromise might be reached. The first was a “Fix NICS” bill Cornyn sponsored last fall that would hold government agencies accountable for uploading relevant information to the federal background check system.
The second was related to bump stocks, which are legal firearm enhancements that allow shooters to operate firearms as if they were automatic weapons. Several Texans said last fall that they would consider banning bump stocks after the devices were found on the guns of the man who shot dozens on the Las Vegas strip. No law has since passed.
“Nobody likes these devices. You can’t have automatic weapons on the streets,” Feinstein said. “It’s easy to fix. Why don’t we do it?”
Cornyn hasn’t been much of a friend to those who oppose the gun lobby. However, there might be the tiniest of cracks beginning to appear in the armor that has surrounded politicians who resist any effort to legislate some remedies to the type of carnage that erupted once again.
It would be a near miracle if Sen. Cornyn would help widen that crack and start to deliver some sensible legislation that doesn’t destroy the Constitution’s Second Amendment.
But, you know … stranger occurrences and alliances have taken shape atop Capitol Hill.