Where Things Stand: Republicans Said A Lot Of Very Dumb Stuff About Guns Today

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WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 08: Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) speaks at a press conference, alongside members of the Second Amendment Caucus, outside the U.S. Capitol Building on March 08, 2022 in Washington, DC. The caucus held t... WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 08: Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) speaks at a press conference, alongside members of the Second Amendment Caucus, outside the U.S. Capitol Building on March 08, 2022 in Washington, DC. The caucus held the news conference to talk about their support for Rep. Michael Cloud’s (R-TX) gun rights legislation, the “No REGISTRY Rights Act” which if passed would make it illegal to track gun ownership. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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We’ve been covering Republicans’ various deflection strategies (if you can even call them strategies) on addressing gun reform in the wake of the latest mass shootings in the U.S. for a few weeks. You might even be tired of it by now — we’ve heard it all, blaming everything from “doors” to abortion access to trans-rights for the mass shootings that plague our nation.

The House is debating a new sweeping piece of gun reform legislation brought forth by Democrats today, with an anticipated vote happening a bit later. It’s expected to pass, but is unlikely to gain much traction in the 50-50 Senate, where Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) is currently leading a bipartisan effort to address calls for Congress to do something following the shooting massacre of school children and grocery shoppers in recent weeks. Beyond a handful of public statements, it’s unclear how serious that effort is or will be.

But in the House, Democrats recently presented the “Protecting Our Kids Act” which aims to tighten up a slew of currently lax gun laws in our nation — like raising the minimum age from 18 to 21 for purchasing semiautomatic weapons, banning large-capacity magazines and regulating gun storage in homes.

House Republican leadership has reportedly already instructed its members to vote against the measure, claiming it is far too sweeping and “reactionary” to address issues that might prevent mass shootings. They’ve also argued that some of the proposals in the bill violate Second Amendment rights.

But the GOP’s distraction campaign to avoid engaging even remotely seriously on guns reached a high (er low) point today, as Republicans House members used their leadership press conference and speeches from the House floor to, once again, blame anything but guns for gun violence in America.

While obviously not part of the current House debate, Cornyn made a point of raising the systemic “failure” of mental health resources in the U.S. once again from the Senate floor a few hours ago:

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) made headlines for making a befuddling comparison between chronic mass shootings in the U.S. and 9/11, arguing that there were not conversations about “banning airplanes” in the wake of the terrorist attack that not only upheaved and entirely reformed airport security, but also served as the initial justification for a decades long, deadly and failed invasion of Afghanistan and ultimately Iraq.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) appeared to try to suggest that if Jewish people in Germany were armed, the Holocaust wouldn’t have happened… sigh.

The annoying, far-right duo that is Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) both argued from the House floor that if Congress was serious about curbing school shootings, they’d present legislation to eradicate laws that mark schools as gun-free zones.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) repeated a point that Scalise also attempted to press in his news briefing earlier this afternoon — that if it wasn’t illegal to pray in school, none of these decades and decades of massacres would have happened.

There are plenty of other gross examples of the same brand of what-about-ism flying around on Twitter that the masochists among us can feel free to dive into. But it’s all a creative spin on the same old, same old response Republicans deploy in the wake of these tragedies, as Americans beg lawmakers to do something, anything about the unprecedented crisis of gun violence this nation continues to endure.

The Best Of TPM Today

Here’s what you should read this evening:

In case you missed it, from Kate Riga this morning: What Would It Take For Guns To One Day Go The Way Of Cigarettes?

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Here’s what we know about the arrest near Kavanaugh’s home today: Armed Man Arrested Near Kavanaugh’s Home After Threatening To Kill Justice

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New in TPM Cafe: What Past Congressional Investigations Can Teach Us About The Jan 6 Hearings

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