Commentary

McConnell Never Should Have Said Assault Weapons Ban Is 'Front & Center'

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From the rise of President Donald Trump to the indignation of then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Senate Republicans during the controversial jurist’s Supreme Court confirmation, America is undoubtedly witnessing the rise of a more bold and defiant conservatism.

Taking after the fiery populist and the good judge, Republicans and right-wing leaders across the country were slowly accepting a new attitude toward conflict — one which would have conservatives fighting back for once against the constant mudslinging and bullying of the progressive left’s ever-growing outrage mob.

That’s right: Conservatives were beginning to stand by their values despite the left’s politics of personal destruction, and they were going to fight back without pulling their punches.

Unfortunately, in light of the recent tragedies in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, those same conservative leaders looked to as examples of defiance and virtue have decided to return to form.

They’ve returned to taking things lying down and giving leftists an inch in good faith while hoping they won’t take a mile.

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And Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did exactly that, telling WHAS in Louisville that he intended to put several gun control proposals “front and center” in the Senate in the weeks to come, according to McClatchy.

This past weekend’s mass shootings carried out with semi-automatic rifles in Texas and Ohio killed 31 and injured countless others, leaving the nation mourning and, of course, sparking calls for (ineffective) gun control legislation.

McConnell told WHAS that universal background checks, “red flag” bans and even an “assault weapons” ban were widely supported and that he would undoubtedly consider them. Who cares about the fact that violent crime has been on the decline in the U.S. even after the first federal ban on so-called “assault weapons” expired in 2004, according to Pew Research(Even that ban, which was the law of the land for a decade, failed to define what constituted an “assault weapon” in any meaningful way. — Ed. note)

“The urgency of this is not lost on any of us,” McConnell said. “What we can’t do is fail to pass something.

Do you think McConnell should be willing to give the Democrats ground on gun control?

“What I want to see here is an outcome, not a bunch of partisan back-and-forths,” he added, all but guaranteeing his true goal is to allow the Democrats to restrict the right to keep and bear arms.

And the Republican senator from Kentucky was not the only once-bold conservative giving in to the temptation of making political gains by seeking to legislate with the goal of mitigating public despair.

McConnell had seemingly taken his lead from Trump and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

According to The Associated Press, Graham announced that he and Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut were working on a bipartisan “red flag” ban earlier this week in light of the shootings.

The law would allow the government to place those reported to be “a risk to themselves or others” on a list that would prevent them from purchasing firearms for up to one year.

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Despite describing himself as “the biggest Second Amendment person there is,” Trump has supported stricter gun control laws in the wake of several mass shootings, but amped up his calls for Congress to act following this weekend.

As we have seen in the past, the wills of the White House and the House of Representatives are no match for that of McConnell, the self-proclaimed “grim reaper” who has managed to keep much of the newly Democratic House’s hard-line progressive legislation from passing into law — or even being voted on.

Many conservatives have rested easy knowing that McConnell is a stubborn conservative gatekeeper, ever vigilant and willing to protect the American conservative from an expanding federal government and increasingly more liberal culture even if it means taking the blame on his own shoulders and facing the left’s hate head on.

In fact, some might even argue defiant conservatism was born with McConnell when he faced down the Democratic tantrum of the century by stonewalling President Barack Obama’s final Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, preventing the highest court in the land from morphing into a tool for left-wing activism.

And McConnell unquestionably stoked the flames of defiance years later when, clad in an Obama-esque tan suit, he refused to back down from filling a Supreme Court vacancy during a midterm election year.

It’s such a shame that after making all this progress, Republicans are suddenly willing to give an inch in good faith, knowing full well the Democrats will take a mile later — and with our precious right to defend ourselves from tyranny in the balance no less.

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Andrew J. Sciascia is the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia is the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He has since covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal, and now focuses his reporting on Congress and the national campaign trail. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.




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