Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D – CA12) went out to smooth her path toward becoming Speaker of the House by seeking friendly territory and sitting down with Chris Cuomo on CNN Thursday night. When asked what her plans were if she took back the gavel, she had plenty to share, but one of her top priorities is supposedly new gun control legislation. While not specifically invoking the Thousands Oaks shooting, she made it clear that she was indirectly referencing it as she described the sort of legislation she had in mind. (Washington Times)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said passing stricter gun control laws will be a “priority” in the new Democrat-controlled House.
“There is bipartisan legislation to have common sense background checks to prevent guns going into the wrong hands,” the California Democrat told CNN’s Chris Cuomo Thursday night.
“This will be a priority for us in the next Congress,” Mrs. Pelosi added.
Her comments came a day after a gunman fatally shot 12 people with a Glock handgun at a bar hosting a college country music night in Thousands Oaks, California.
So she’s going to be focused on universal background checks and expanded capacity magazines. In other words, nothing that we haven’t been hearing about for the past decade. Surprisingly missing from her to-do list was the so-called “assault rifle” ban.
Of course, if Democrats want to point to Thousand Oaks, they immediately weaken most of their own arguments. We once again saw a shooter who had passed all of his background checks and purchased his firearm legally. Also, rather than a rifle, he pulled off the attack with a single .45 caliber handgun. For the record, he did have a magazine with more capacity than California law allows, but considering the fact that he had time to stop in the middle of his assault to post things on social media, he clearly had plenty of time to swap out magazines even if he’d had a smaller one.
There’s certainly an argument to be made about whether or not he should have been flagged for screening due to mental illness and erratic behavior. The shooter apparently was suffering from PTSD and had acted brashly (though without any gun violence) in the past. But the fact is that officials had already been alerted to his behavior and still given him a pass. It’s also worth noting that “red flag” laws covering such people raise other disturbing issues.
Of course, except for the possibility of some changes to background checks, most of this conversation is simply window dressing anyway. If Pelosi wants to guide the Democrats toward new gun control legislation in the House, they’ll still have to get it past a GOP majority in the Senate and then somehow convince Donald Trump to sign it. Good luck with that.
This interview raises a couple of other questions as well. For one thing, Nancy Pelosi seems awfully confident that she’ll be the Speaker next year. In fact, she told Cuomo she was “100 percent confident” she would be getting the gavel back. Does she know something this far in advance that we can’t confirm? I mean, it wouldn’t be any surprise if she winds up being Speaker. She retains a lot of support from the establishment Democrats. But the new class includes a lot of younger socialists who ran on a pledge not to support her. She may win, but she might wind up needing the help that President Trump offered after all.