Falcons coach Arthur Smith says ‘both sides’ are to blame in gun reform impasse. That doesn’t add up & More Trending News

 

Not many individuals have a platform like that of an NFL head coach. They commonly converse in entrance of reporters and tv crews to supply their ideas and emotions on the themes of the day. Most of the time they discuss soccer. But typically, real-world occasions come to mild that want to be addressed.

Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith took time on the finish of his Thursday information convention to converse concerning the tragic homicide of 19 youngsters and two academics at a Uvalde, Texas, college on May 24. Here’s what he did with it.

“I’m not going to get into some political rant,” Smith stated. “Part of that me probably thinks our political process is broken. On both sides. It has been hijacked, in my opinion, by extremists.”

Smith went on to say that there’s “a misplaced artwork to compromise” and to “debate” that he “appreciates everyone’s opinion” and that our leaders “can’t find a compromise solution to keep military-grade assault weapons out of the hands of mentally ill people.”

The biggest problems with this statement are that such a compromise already exists — and only one of those “hijacked” sides refuses to vote on it.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr explained this already when he passionately spoke about the shooting before Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday, hours after the shooting. He called on Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to vote on House Resolution (H.R.) 8 — also known as the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 — which has sat on the Senate floor without a vote for more than a year after it passed the House of Representatives twice since 2019.

The bill is the epitome of compromise when juxtaposed with the epidemic of gun violence in America. Uvalde was the 212th mass shooting in the United States this year and the 27th to take place in a school. This shooting happened just 10 days after 10 Black people were killed in a Buffalo supermarket.

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H.R. 8 doesn’t call for a mass recall or unilateral ban of firearms in the United States. All it does is require background checks on the sale or transfer of firearms by unlicensed and private sellers. Currently, Americans can acquire firearms at gun shows or online without a background check.

Falcons head coach Arthur Smith spoke about the Uvalde shooting Thursday. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Falcons head coach Arthur Smith spoke about the Uvalde shooting Thursday. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“It’s been sitting there for two years,” Kerr said. “And there’s a reason [Senators] won’t vote on it — to hold on to power.”

That isn’t even the only gun reform bill that passed the House in the past year. H.R. 1446 — the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 — increased the amount of time that a federal firearms licensee must wait to receive a background check before transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person from three days to 10. This would close the “Charleston Loophole” that allowed a white supremacist to acquire a firearm and kill nine Black people in 2015 at a Mother Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina.

As Kerr alluded to earlier, one side of the political aisle in the Senate simply refuses to even put either bill to a vote. A recent New York Times poll of Republican Senators found that 31 declined to comment or deflected when asked about how they would vote on either gun reform bill. Five were open or undecided on their support of the bills and 14 opposed or were leaning against. All but one Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, supported the bills.

The healthy majority of Americans in multiple polls actually support broader background checks for firearms. A full two-thirds (68 percent) favor “requiring legal and psychological background checks for all these shopping for weapons, together with at gun exhibits or personal gross sales,” according to a recent Yahoo/YouGov poll. That includes 56 percent of Republican respondents.

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So the compromise and support on the issue Smith called for actually does exist. It’s just a matter of putting it to a vote in the Senate. That takes “either side” and 60 total votes to pass. But until one of those “hijacked” sides even wants to discuss the bills in place, it’s all noise. Especially comments like Smith’s.

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