It’s now up to Senate Republicans to have courage and pass gun restrictions

The House has passed gun legislation. GOP senators have to show some backbone and help pass legislation that puts American lives over Republican political interests.

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Gun control activists rally outside the U.S. Capitol on June 8.

Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. House did the right thing this week by approving gun restriction legislation aimed at slowing the carnage caused by firearms and mass shootings.

The 223-204 vote came after congressional testimony from experts as well as parents, children and relatives affected by the horrific mass shootings in Texas and New York State.

Some of the most harrowing testimony came from Dr. Roy Guerrero, who treated victims of the massacre at Robb School in Uvalde, Texas.

“What I did find was something no prayer will ever relieve,” Guerrero told lawmakers. “Two children whose bodies had been pulverized by bullets fired at them, decapitated, whose flesh had been ripped apart. The only clue about their identities was blood-spattered cartoon clothes still clinging to them, clinging for life and finding none.”

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It’s hard to be left unmoved by words like that — unless you’re a GOP member of the House. Republicans cast nearly all of the votes against the bill, proving again that the party is more eager to protect gun rights than to pass sensible laws to protect human lives.

Gun legislation can’t pass the Senate without GOP votes. With all the bloodshed the nation is experiencing, we urge GOP senators to show some backbone and help pass legislation that puts American lives over Republican political interests.

We ask them: Aren’t 254 mass shootings so far this year enough?

Bill would harm responsible gun owners: GOP

The House bill, passed Wednesday, would make it illegal to sell semiautomatic rifles to people under 21. Magazines that hold more than 15 rounds would be banned, and there would be more stringent requirements for storing guns in homes.

But for House Republicans, the bill was a bridge too far. They argued the measure wouldn’t stop mass shooting, but would curb the rights of responsible gun owners.

“What this bill does is take away Second Amendment rights, God-given rights, protected by our Constitution, from law-abiding American citizens,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

Jordan’s counterpoint is nonsensical, but it held water with his GOP colleagues. Especially since, as The New York Times reported, Republican leaders reminded GOP lawmakers that conservative groups such as Heritage Action and the National Rifle Association would be rating them based on their votes.

Compromise needed

All of this makes Senate passage a very tough — we hope not impossible — slog without compromise.

It shouldn’t be that way, of course, just two weeks after the mass killing of 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, and after the racist shooting massacre at Tops supermarket in Buffalo that killed 10 black people on May 14.

Under the House bill, the 18-year-old gunmen in both instances would have been too young to legally buy the AR-15-style weapons they used.

If nothing else, the Senate vote process will make it clear to the public — by putting it on the record — who’s on the side of slowing this bloodbath and who isn’t.

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