Mitch McConnell to Target School Safety, Mental Illness After School Shooting 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters after a Republican policy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. Yesterday, Republican senators blocked a bill to keep the U.S. government funded and allow borrowing.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday announced plans to target the lack of school safety and the rise of mental illness after the Uvalde school shooting.

“In discussing how we might come together to target the problem of mental illness and school safety, we’ll get back at it next week and hope to have results,” McConnell said about a legislative solution that would reduce mass shootings.

According to the World Health Organization, “There has been a 13% rise in mental health conditions and substance use disorders in the last decade (to 2017).” Many Republicans have called for increased school security with the rise of mental health conditions.

“Whatever our differences may be on other issues, what on earth is stopping Democrats from immediately passing measures to ramp up school security,” Donald Trump said during a Saturday rally in Wyoming. 

Last week, McConnell seemed to be singing a different tune when he directed Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) to negotiate with Democrats on gun control just days following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

“I’ve encouraged him to talk to Sen. Sinema, Sen. Murphy and others who are interested in trying to get an outcome that’s directly related to the problem. I am hopeful that we could come up with a bipartisan solution that’s directly related to the facts of this awful massacre,” he said.

House Democrats have their own ideas, however. On Tuesday, reports surfaced that House Democrats are preparing a gun control package that encompasses eight different bills. The package is set to go before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

The package will reportedly include banning high-capacity magazines, increasing the purchase age of semi-automatics from 18 to 21, banning bump stocks for civilian use while requiring existing bump stocks to be registered with the government, changing the definition of “ghost guns” so they fall under background checks at point of sale, increasing penalties for gun trafficking, and mandating how Americans store firearms in their homes.

If that package passes the House, the Senate will have an opportunity to deliberate on the proposed legislation. The package must win at least 60 votes to surpass the filibuster threshold.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter and Gettr @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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