In January, while the United States government was still partially shut down, anti-gun members of the U.S. House of Representatives decided to focus on gun control rather than ensuring that the country has a functional government.
Arch anti-gunner Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) quarterbacked the effort in her capacity as Speaker of the House.
“[T]oday is … a day of action,” she said at the press conference introducing the 116th Congress’ first major gun control push. “We say enough is enough by finally bringing commonsense, bipartisan background check legislation to the Floor of the House.” As applause erupted, she added, “Isn’t that exciting?”
Joining her in the effort was Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), chairman of the democrat’s Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. He characterized the day’s proceedings as the culmination of a six-year effort “to find the most efficient and most effective way to help save lives.”
Their first big play was H.R. 8, the “Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019.” The single digit bill number was meant to convey the high priority the Democrat-controlled Congress places on gun control.
The pair also chose Jan. 8 to launch their effort for ostensibly symbolic reasons. This was the date in 2011 when an assassination attempt in Tucson, Ariz. tragically wounded then U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and resulted in the deaths and injuries of innocent bystanders.
Giffords was in attendance as Pelosi and Thompson introduced H.R. 8, along with other fixtures of the anti-gun cause, including Josh Horowitz, David Hogg, Lucy McBath, and Shannon Watts.
Yet as infamous and deplorable as the Tucson event was, it was a strange occasion to use to mark the launch of a “universal” background check bill.