McConnell Suggests Republicans Open to a ‘Bipartisan Solution’ on Gun Violence
While open to reforms in mental health access, GOP senators remain skeptical of any legislation that restricts gun ownership.
Two days after a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left nineteen children and two teachers dead, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has asked Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) to begin conversations with Democrats regarding bipartisan gun-control legislation, according to CNN.
McConnell did not divulge details on what the legislation should entail but instead signaled that he wants Cornyn to be the one to negotiate.
“I met with Sen. Cornyn this morning. As you know he went home yesterday to see the family members and begin the fact finding of this awful massacre and I have encouraged him to talk with Sen. [Chris] Murphy (D-CT) and Sen. [Kyrsten] Sinema (D-AZ) and others who are interested in trying to get an outcome that is directly related to the problem,” McConnell told the news outlet.
“I am hopeful that we could come up with a bipartisan solution,” he added.
Despite being open to a compromise on gun control, Cornyn added that he does not want to see the Texas school shooting used as a way to infringe on the right to bear arms.
“There’s a whole list of things that we can consider, but I think particularly mental health, access to mental health treatment is high on that list,” he said.
“I think we need to be open to whatever, wherever the evidence leads us. I would say that this is not an excuse to infringe the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens … doing that will do nothing to fix tragedies like this,” he continued.
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden again called on Congress to quickly pass gun reform legislation. He said that he believes gun reforms can be passed that would have a “significant impact” on the amount of violence with “no negative impact on the Second Amendment.”
The day before, just hours after eighteen-year-old Salvador Ramos killed twenty-one people at Robb Elementary School, Biden gave his take on the correlation between mental health and gun violence.
“What struck me was these kinds of mass shootings rarely happen anywhere else in the world. Why? They have mental health problems. They have domestic disputes in other countries. They have people who are lost, but these kinds of mass shootings never happen with the kind of frequency they happen in America. Why? Why are we willing to live with this carnage?” the president questioned.
“We as a nation have to ask when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby. When in God’s name do we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?” he continued.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Finance and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.