By: José Niño
The 2020 election season is far from over.
Although everyone is waiting for the legal drama surrounding voting irregularities during the presidential election to be resolved, all eyes will be on the two runoff elections for Georgia’s Senate seats. Democrat challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock were able to gather enough votes in their races to force a runoff in early January.
Should these two seats fall in Democrat hands, Democrats will have a majority in the Senate, thanks to a 50-50 split and presuming Kamala Harris makes the tie-breaking vote as vice-president. With Democrats keeping the House and the presidency on pace to be under Democrat control, a Democrat-held Senate is the final piece to the anti-gun puzzle. In other words, it will be much easier for the federal government to ram through gun control by virtue of a Democrat trifecta.
One of the Georgia Senate candidates, Democrat Jon Ossoff, is a next level gun control advocate. The contender for Georgia’s Senate seat had made the prohibition on the sale of semiautomatic rifles and mandatory licensing for all semiautomatic weapons. On his campaign website, Ossoff stated, “I support a ban on the sale of semi-automatic rifles (‘assault weapons’) and high-capacity magazines to the general public.”
The Senate candidate took off the mask on MSNBC after he said in an interview that, “For semiautomatic weapons, whether they are rifles or handguns, we need strict licensing requirements.” The Senate candidate also voiced his support for universal background checks (UBCs) during the interview. Under UBCs, private gun sales and transfers between families, neighbors, and friends would be criminalized. So far, 12 states have UBCs on the books. Back in February 2019, the U.S. House was able to pass universal background check legislation, but the legislation ended up going nowhere because of the Republican-controlled Senate.
Certain gun policy pundits, however, such as AWR Hawkins at Breitbart, point to the fact that these “[C]hecks do nothing to prevent street criminals and gang members from selling guns to other criminals and gang members in the streets and alleys of American cities.” Hawkins also noted that high-profile massacres such as the Las Vegas, Virginia Beach, and Virginia Tech mass shootings all resulted from assailants who acquired their firearms through regular background checks. Gun crime researchers, such as John Lott, have even shown that crime rates have been falling well before the U.S. installed its federal background check system. So, any kind of strengthened background check system would do very little, if anything, to deter crimes.
January 5, 2021 will determine the fate of the U.S. Senate. If Ossoff pulls off a victory against the Republican incumbent David Perdue, Democrats will be a step closer to reaching their vaunted majority in the Senate. They would then need Democrat challenger Raphael Warnock to unseat Kelly Loeffler to get a 50-50 split in the Senate. By then, Vice President Kamala Harris may be ready to break any tie in the Senate.
This could prove fatal for controversial gun control legislation that will in all likelihood be voted on strictly partisan lines. Georgia voters must recognize what’s at stake during this runoff and make sure to deny Democrats a Senate majority.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at joseinpoliti[email protected]. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.
Photo from Facebook.