Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-Calif.) joined the Everytown for Gun Safety’s Veepstakes and just might have let slip what her gun control goals would be should she join presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on the ticket as his running mate. Speaking with Shannon Watts, Rep. Bass decried gun control’s slow progress in Congress.
“I mean we’ve passed universal registra… uh, universal background checks out of the House! It’s one of the 400 bills languishing in the Senate.”
It’s true that under fellow Californian Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the House of Representatives passed a grab bag of antigun legislation. Those bills would do little to address the criminal misuse of firearms and instead infringe on the Second Amendment rights of Americans.
California has among the strictest gun control in the nation and Rep. Bass has been along for the ride. Before Congress, Rep. Bass spent six years in California’s state assembly, from 2004 – 2010, including the last two years as Speaker of that body. She described her gun control bona fides and experience as a grassroots organizer during those years.
“At the height of the….gang violence crisis, we saw guns on the street more powerful than those carried by the police,” Rep. Bass said. “It taught me everything.”
Fast forward and criminals are still on street. They still illegally possess firearms but law-abiding Californians are subjected to a series of burdensome laws and regulations to exercise their rights.
Dismissing Legitimate Concerns
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic and the recent violent riots and looting, historic numbers of Americans have purchased a firearm, mostly due to legitimate concerns related to family safety and protection of home and property. Millions of these purchasers are first-timers and a large number are in the Golden State, surprised by the restrictions and delays required for their purchase. When asked by Watts about gun purchasers and what Congress or state legislators can do to pass more gun control, Rep. Bass once again was dismissive, stating “I believe [their party] has been taken over by extremist elements.”
The more than 2.5 million first-time firearm buyers so far in 2020 who jumped off the fence to purchase their firearm might reject that notion.
Joe Biden’s antigun track record is well-known and Rep. Bass’s own gun control agenda fits for a gun grabbing ticket. She stated so, saying Biden, “should be lifting it [gun control] to be one of the most important issues and I believe he’s already doing it.”
She’d get her way too, if the U.S. Senate wasn’t blocking her gun control agenda.
“That’s why we really need to take the Senate back,” she said. “We’ve already passed the legislation in the House. There’s just no alternative.” Billionaire Michael Bloomberg would agree. It’s why he’s bankrolled Everytown and already pledged to spend $60 million to support Biden’s candidacy and flip Senate seats for more gun control.
Larry Keane is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.