Republicans Play the Fool After Compromising on ‘Gun Control’

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With the recent mass shooting in Highland Park that took the lives of seven people, a renewed call for “gun control” from Democrats has begun. That comes just weeks after Republicans lined up to sign on to a gun control bill (now passed into law) with the idea that doing so would provide common ground on the issue.

As predicted, though, that didn’t even buy the GOP enough goodwill to make it through the next mass shooting, much less did it put the issue to bed for any length of time. Here’s what I wrote when Sen. John Cornyn was first announced to be negotiating with Democrats on gun control.

Here’s the thing, though. When whatever red flag laws that get passed fail to stop the next mass shooter, the call to “do something” will only grow louder. And the next “something” will be an even further encroachment. I understand the desire to act in good faith and attempt to take some of the heat off, but Republicans have to understand that the Democrat push for gun confiscation and an “assault weapons” ban will not stop with whatever compromise legislation arises here.

That leaves the obvious question for Republicans: Is it smart to give ground when the end goal of the Democrats is being telegraphed to you? I know my answer.

In the case of the Highland Park shooter, he had every red flag imaginable and Illinois’ red flag law still failed to stop him from obtaining guns. That was always the problem with any GOP compromise on this issue. When you concede ground, all you are doing is providing gun control proponents fodder to say “See, your solutions didn’t work so we need to do it my way now.”

I also shared similar thoughts on social media after the text of the then-bill was leaked.

Bookmark it, indeed. To be honest, I didn’t expect to be proven right so soon, but here we are, with Democrats once again going full bore on “assault weapon” and “high-capacity magazine” bans, both of which have already been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. It doesn’t matter, though, and you can expect the cries to “do something” to increase from here. If Republicans thought their rush to compromise would help take some of the heat off, they were mistaken.

NBC News provides a few examples.

Mass shootings won’t stop “until more members of Congress expand their definition of freedom to include freedom from massacre by semi-automatic weapon,” Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., told NBC News on Tuesday…

…“As families come together to celebrate America, they are gunned down in the scourge of gun violence plaguing it. This is a tragedy,” Markey said in a tweet. “The Bipartisan Gun Law was a first step, but Congress must do more to stop this deadly epidemic and save lives.”…

…“Last month, Congress proved that bipartisan compromises on gun safety are possible. Today proved that we can’t stop there,” Duckworth said in a statement on Monday. “We have to do more to keep our communities safe. We have to pass additional commonsense reforms that wide majorities of Americans are crying out for — that 6 Illinoisans can no longer cry out for. I won’t let their memories be forgotten.”

Comments like “Congress must do more” and “We can’t stop there” are so laughably predictable. The Democrats were never going to accept the GOP’s olive branch. Instead, they just took the inch and will proceed to fight for the mile. That’s the difference between Republicans and Democrats. Democrats never stop. There is no end game for them. Progressivism is always marching forward toward an ever-restrictive state. Compromise doesn’t defuse such an ideology, it only emboldens it.

Republican voters deserve better than this. They deserve leadership in Washington that cares about more than just the next news cycle. Mass shootings are, unfortunately, inevitable until the nation gets ahold of the mental health crisis gripping isolated, depressed young men. The foolish decision to pretend as if passing some federal law would stop them has only backed Republicans further into the corner. Will any lessons be learned? Don’t count on it.