the impossible reform of the legislation on weapons

Joe Biden may want “turn pain into action“, as he said on the night of Tuesday May 24 to Wednesday May 25, Americans have already heard this kind of phrase a thousand times. In fact, in the United States, there are countless shootings and massacres by firearms.The organization Gun Violence Archive counts already this year more than 200 “mass shootings”, in which at least four people were injured or killed. Ten a week on average. Firearms have become the leading cause of death for American children and adolescents in 2020.

The statistics are tragic and yet it is very difficult if not impossible to legislate on this issue, the ultra-powerful lobby of the National Rifle Association (NRA) finances the campaigns of the pro-gun Republicans who find themselves in Congress and who cripple the reforms . At the same time, we must not forget that weapons have always been part of the landscape, it is cultural. To hold one to defend oneself is even a constitutional right. This is the famous second amendment constantly invoked by the pro-guns.

Texas is particularly concerned. It is one of the states where it is the easiest to get a firearm. Since September 1, 2021, the carrying of a weapon in public is even authorized there without a permit, whether we are talking about handguns, shotguns or shotguns. It is a law carried by Republican Governor Greg Abott who, in 2015, said he had “shame” because Texas is not “that” the nation’s second-largest gun-buying state. In 2020, however, we sold 1.3 million. There may be a connection to the fact that Texas holds the American record for the number of school shootings, there have been 78 for ten years.

Wednesday, May 25, it is the same governor who gives press conferences to shell the number of victims at the school of Uvalde. But this massacre will not change his convictions. For him, as for local Republican Senator Ted Cruz, this problem will only be solved by putting more armed police in front of and in schools.

At the federal level, however, former President Barack Obama has already tried to tackle the carrying of arms. He tried to pass a measure which was however not very restrictive and which was widely supported by public opinion: to make it compulsory, in specialized fairs and on the internet, to check the criminal and psychiatric backgrounds of weapon buyers. fire. It was in 2013, just four months after the massacre of 20 children at the elementary school in Sandy Hook (Connecticut) which had created a national trauma, considerable emotion. Despite this, both senators and the House of Representatives voted against it, as they voted against banning assault weapons, and against limiting magazine capacity. It was one of the biggest failures of the Obama presidency. Donald Trump after him largely granted his favors to lobbies.

Can Joe Biden do better? Although American society has evolved a little, the political dynamics have not changed. In the United States, the president has very little power. He can only change things and pass his texts if he has a very solid majority in Congress. However, Democrat Joe Biden lacks leverage. Its parliamentary majority is too short. In the Senate, he needs 60% of the vote, so it’s almost impossible. And then even if he managed to snatch a consensus, there remains the dam of the Supreme Court, very conservative, as we have seen for example on abortion. It therefore advances by decree, it is the only way to do it, and it remains on the margins, with micro-measures that do not change the overall landscape.

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