By: José Niño
There are no guarantees in politics.
Just because an elected official is a “Republican” does not mean he or she will fight to defend the Second Amendment. Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn is a good example of how a politician being a Republican does make him an instant champion of gun rights.
While boasting about being a defender of the Second Amendment, Cornyn simultaneously works behind the scenes to attack the right to bear arms. Tom Knighton of Bearing Arms observed this in a piece titled “Sen. John Cornyn Still Flirting with Background Check Bill,” in which he exposed Cornyn’s attempts to seek “compromise language” for gun control that Democrats are pushing.
Last month, Second Amendment journalist AWR Hawkins detailed how Cornyn has been working behind the scenes with Democrat Senator Chris Murphy. According to a Politico report, Cornyn engaged in “quiet conversations” with Murphy with the aim of “[finding] common ground.”
A May 16 report from the Washington Poststated, “Some Republicans, including Cornyn, have said they generally favor background checks and have been actively talking with Murphy about compromise language that would not go as far as the House versions but could close some loopholes.”
Cornyn revealed that such talks are ongoing but conceded that no middle ground has been reached. “There’s nothing right now to say other than we are still talking,” the Texas Senator said.
Cornyn’s flirtation with negotiating on gun control is nothing new.
According to a report by CBS News Dallas Fort-Worth in 2019, Cornyn was “willing to consider” red flag gun confiscation orders at the time and is likely to do so in the present and near future, if the political circumstances permit it.
Cornyn’s case shows that Republicans are willing to work behind the scenes to cobble together anti-Second Amendment legislation. This type of maneuvering is the most dangerous since most people’s attention is attached to politicians’ sound bites, media appearances, and official statements. In the process, they ignore the closed-door meetings, where the anti-gun sausage is made.
While there are clearly worse politicians than Cornyn when it comes to gun rights, activists should watch him like a hawk. The less pressure placed on politicians who are squishy on key grassroots issues, the more likely they will betray their constituents.
Politicians cannot be placed on pedestals and must be reminded that they serve their freedom-loving constituents, not hostile interest groups that work diligently to eliminate our freedoms.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.
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