Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy on Thursday signed into law one of the nation’s toughest gun-control packages. He did so watched not just by family members of the children gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December but also by the state legislators who’d put aside ideological differences to hammer out the bipartisan measure.
It was an instructive moment.
Sensible gun laws that protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners while aiding public safety are possible. Political compromise can be accomplished. Incremental change is not only achievable but also desirable.
In Connecticut, it became an emotional issue among Sandy Hook parents that the high-capacity ammunition magazines that helped Adam Lanza slaughter their innocents weren’t all banned, only restricted — including a requirement that existing owners register their magazines. Yet that is still a move forward that may help reconcile gun enthusiasts to the need for more controls.
When the U.S. Senate returns to work this week, at the top of its agenda will be a proposed requirement for universal background checks on firearms purchases. Yet despite polls that show the idea enjoys overwhelming public support, even among gun owners, there is a good chance it won’t make it to the floor for a vote. The National Rifle Association’s Senate allies appear to have enough votes to require a supermajority of 60 members to force final action. This is the kind of parliamentary stunt that Americans ought to resent, regardless of their political persuasion….
It’s time for senators to stand with the people and not the NRA.
— Distributed by The Associated Press