The Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on gun control reform – a pretty important news development at a time when the January 6 Committee hearings are getting considerable attention in the media. While the media should be concerned about the developments we get out of these hearings, it is also easy for people to dismiss the significance of the agreement that has support from both sides of the aisle.
There are, of course, many who say that the bill doesn’t go far enough and have their own fantasies about some magical piece of legislation that President Biden will sign and automatically eliminate the current epidemic of mass shootings, or want another full ban on assault weapons.
In addition to fully funding mental health services – particularly for schools – the bill also increases protection for victims of domestic violence, who are more likely to be victims of gun violence, while cracking down on illegal firearms purchases and providing background checks for those under 21 purchasing weapons. The latter part of the agreement could have prevented the tragedy we saw in Uvalde from ever happening.
Obviously there is room for further measures to be taken but that would consist of electing more Democrats to the Senate and diluting the current influence the GOP has over it. The alternative, had the GOP managed to hold the Senate, would be that these talks would likely never even happen. While the bill is expected to pass overwhelmingly, we are able to both celebrate it for the win it is and then get back to the hard work of electing Democrats in 2022.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making