April 17, 2013. The day that America decided that political differences were more important than the safety of the citizens the country consists of. On April 17, the Democratically-proposed Manchin-Toomey Bill was voted on in the senate…with unsuccessful results. Many people misunderstood the concept of the bill, thinking that its purpose was to begin the gradual eradication of guns in America. But, in actuality, it focused more on universal background checks when purchasing a gun, which really has no downsides unless you happen to be a criminal. But, as usual, this Manchin-Toomey was proposed by Democrats and it’s pretty common knowledge amongst everyone that Democrats and Republicans don’t really care about anything that doesn’t benefit their own political party. Since the Manchin-Toomey Bill showed the first signs of gun control (a Democratic idea), Republicans were of course against it and nobody benefitted from what should have been viewed as a ridiculously reasonable bill.
I want to stress that when people are dying, politics shouldn’t matter. Everyone should be able to momentarily put aside their political affiliation in hopes to make America a safer and better country for current and future citizens. Since 1999, there have been 31 school shootings which is already a shocking number before you realize that’s only school shootings. After each major shooting such as Columbine, Virginia Tech, or, most recently, Sandy Hook there has been a call for reform concerning fire arms. But it’s simply never happened. The Manchin-Toomey Bill was the first step and a baby step at that; a simple bill that made the process of getting guns slightly more intelligent than it had been previously. So why didn’t it pass if it wasn’t really that radical? Mostly due to political turmoil and the idea that it could eventually turn into complete gun law reform which is something that even some Democrats don’t want. However, even if could result in something that members in both parties don’t want to deal with, it still presented an extremely good idea on how to decrease the amount of illegal firearms being purchased in the United States.
Apparently the main Republican argument against laws similar to the Manchin-Toomey Bill is that criminals will break the law to find a way to get guns illegally even if there is a law forbidding it. And this sounds slightly convincing until you recognize that criminals break any law regardless of its focus. So if there’s no point in making any gun-based laws, what’s the point in making any laws at all? Criminals are just going to break them anyway, right?
Currently, Senators Pat Toomey and Joe Manchin have expressed no immediate plans to bring the Manchin-Toomey Bill to the Senate again. Nevertheless, there is much hope that in the future there will be more support behind such a bill. Until then it’s suggested that everyone who sees this as a reasonable bill educates those who are unaware of what it’s actually trying to achieve.