Amazingly, the Uvalde, Texas, school massacre that left 21 dead — 19 elementary school students and two teachers — yielded a bipartisan effort in the Senate to pass very moderate legislation aimed at stemming gun violence. Once approved in the Senate by an unlikely and historic coalition including 15 Republicans, the legislation was rapidly passed by the House and signed by the president.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) was “deeply involved in drafting the bill, although the gun rights group ultimately opposed it,” according to The New York Times. That the bill passed, with 13 of the 15 Republicans voting for it having A or A+ ratings from the NRA, punctuates the unlikely outcome.
Unfortunately, Alabama’s two senators, Richard Shelby and Tommy Tuberville, voted against the bill, which prompted me to write each:
I’m deeply disappointed that you did not support the gun safety legislation that, fortunately, passed Congress and was signed by President Biden.
The provisions in the bill are reasonable: requiring background checks for first time gun purchasers under 21, closing the “boyfriend loophole,” funding state grants to implement red flag laws, funding mental health programs, funding increased security at schools.
Your fellow conservative, Republican Senator John Cornyn, worked arduously to ensure the legislation does not infringe on our Second Amendment rights. So I cannot understand your unwillingness to support it and extend grace to the parents who have lost children to senseless and tragic mass shootings.