House Dem declares gun control will happen even if it means abolishing filibuster or expanding Supreme Court
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Rep. Mondaire Jones said Thursday Democrats will abolish the Senate filibuster and pack the Supreme Court in order to pass more restrictions on guns, as the House prepares to advance a package of gun bills next week.
Jones, D-N.Y., made the comments at a House Judiciary Committee markup on a package called the “Protecting Our Kids Act.” The emergency committee meeting was called by Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., in response to the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, in recent weeks.
“Enough of you telling us that school shootings are a fact of life when every other country like ours has virtually ended it. Enough of you blaming mental illness and then defunding mental health care in this country. Enough of your thoughts and prayers,” Jones said during the emotional hearing.
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“You will not stop us from advancing the Protecting Our Kids Act today,” he added. “If the filibuster obstructs us, we will abolish it. If the Supreme Court objects, we will expand it. And we will not rest until we have taken weapons of war out of circulation and our communities each and every day.”
But House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said Jones with his Thursday comments showed Democrats fundamentally don’t want to compromise.
“Now we know where they want to go. He just said it,” Jordan, said. “End the filibuster. Expand the court. Forget the Constitution. Now, we know.”
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The House is expected to vote on the Protecting Our Kids Act next week. It would raise the age to purchase a semiautomatic rifle to 21, tighten regulations on “ghost guns” and ban new large-capacity magazines, among several other things. The chamber is also expected to address red flag laws.
Meanwhile, a group of primarily moderate senators is negotiating a more modest agreement that could make it through the Senate, which has a 60-vote filibuster that gives the GOP minority far more say than in the House.
“Democrats blame guns. They criticize the NRA. They call Republicans names. But let’s be honest, they’ve told us what they want to do. Their real beef is with the Second Amendment,” Jordan added. “Their goal, plain and simple, is to get rid of the Second Amendment. Joe Biden said it the other day, said he wants to ban 9mm handguns.”
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The Thursday committee markup also included several emotional speeches from Democrats, including Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., who talked about losing her son to gun violence.
Republicans, meanwhile, argued Democrats are ignoring key problems like mental health and the family that are contributing to gun violence. They also argued Democrats’ proposals may be unconstitutional.
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“The courts have made it pretty clear you cannot deprive young adults any more of the remainder of Americans of their core Second Amendment right to self-defense,” Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., said of the proposal to increase the age at which Americans can buy semiautomatic rifles.