Strengthening background checks for people making gun purchases has become news again in the wake of the number of mass shootings plaguing our country.
Ultimately, though, nothing will get done unless the Democrat-ruled House and Republican-led Senate can agree, and craft legislation that will be signed by President Donald Trump.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has gone so far as to say he would bring gun control legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump supports it and will sign it into law.
In early August, after shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Trump tweeted that stronger background checks could be a possibility.
“Serious discussions are taking place between House and Senate leadership on meaningful Background Checks,” Trump wrote. “I have also been speaking to the NRA, and others, so that their very strong views can be fully represented and respected.”
Since then, he has backed off a call for stronger background checks.
Just this past weekend, Trump said: “It would be wonderful to say — to say ‘eliminate,’ but we want to substantially reduce the violent crime — and actually, in any form. This includes strong measures to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous and deranged individuals, and substantial reforms to our nation’s broken mental health system.”
He also had this to say: “Background checks — I will say that for the most part, sadly, if you look at the last four or five, going back even five or six or seven years — for the most part, as strong as you make your background checks, they would not have stopped any of it.”
It has come to light that Seth Aaron Ator, the gunman who killed seven people last Saturday in Odessa, Texas, was able to skirt federal background checks after he was denied being able to purchase a firearm in 2014.
According to authorities, that denial was issued because of a mental health issue. Ator then bought the rifle he used in his rampage in a private sale, which was not subject to a federal background check.
What, if anything, comes about remains to be seen. Nothing will come about until Congress returns to session next week.
And, as we said, nothing will be done unless all sides in our fractured political system can somehow meet in the middle.