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If not now then when?

Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, May 26th, 2022 - 47 comments
Categories: Culture wars, Donald Trump, uncategorized, us politics, war - Tags:

Lorie Shaull https://www.flickr.com/photos/number7cloud/

Another day and another senseless killing of innocent American citizens by someone with a semi automatic rifle.

Two weeks ago it was a Christchurch massacre inspired shooter who went into a black area and indiscriminately killed ten people.

From CNN:

Ten people were killed in a racially motivated mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo on Saturday by a suspect in tactical gear who was livestreaming the attack, law enforcement officials said during a news conference.

The shooting occurred Saturday afternoon at a Tops Friendly Markets store. The suspect in the shooting, a White male, is in custody, police said. He was identified as Payton Gendron, 18, and pleaded not guilty to the first degree murder charge brought against him in court Saturday night, Buffalo City Court Chief Judge Craig Hannah tells CNN.

Thirteen were shot in the attack and 10 have died. Of those shot, 11 were Black and two were White, officials said.

The horror of what happened then was topped by the carnage that happened recently at a Texan elementary school.  From Radio New Zealand:

The gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school barricaded them in a single fourth-grade classroom, authorities said, as the deadliest US school shooting in a decade reignited debate over gun laws.

During the shooting on Tuesday, police circled Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, breaking windows in an effort to evacuate children and staff, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Chris Olivarez told CNN.

Officers eventually breached the classroom and killed the gunman, identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos.

Ramos began his rampage by shooting his grandmother at the home where he lived with his grandparents. He then drove to the nearby school where he crashed his car and entered the building wearing tactical gear and carrying a rifle, authorities said.

His grandmother survived but is in critical condition, and investigators hope she can shed light on a motive for the shooting. Multiple children were also injured, although authorities have not provided an exact tally.

Ramos purchased two rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition days before the attack, CNN reported, citing a state senator who had been briefed by law enforcement.

The authorities have had to use DNA samples to identify the kids, basically because they had their heads blown off with an assault rifle.

The tragedy has caused Democrats to stand up and demand action on gun control.

Senator Chris gave an impassioned speech in the senate asking why Republicans were there if they did not intend to improve things.  He begged his colleagues to act.  There is a bill requiring background checks that has been held up by a Republican filibuster.

And in Texas Democrat Governor candidate Beta O’Rourke gate crashed Governor Abbott’s press conference on the tragedy.

O’Rourke said:

You are doing nothing. You are offering up nothing. You said this was not predictable. This was totally predictable when you choose not to do anything.”

He was accused of politicising the issue which is weird because politics has stopped the issue being addressed in a proper way.

As for the Republican response, nothing has changed.  Marjorie Taylor Green has called for a return to God, not gun control.

Ted Cruz joined in with claims that the Democrats were politicising the issue:

Inevitably when there’s a murder of this kind you see politicians try to politicize it,” he said. “You see Democrats and a lot of folks in the media whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. That doesn’t work. It’s not effective. It doesn’t prevent crime.”

The experience of most of the Western World including New Zealand would suggest that Cruz’s claim is not correct.

Meanwhile with timing and geographical placement that could not be worse this weekend in Texas the NRA is holding its annual conference.  And Donald Trump is a key speaker.  There can be few if any less sensitive organisations on the planet today.

47 comments on “If not now then when? ”

  1. Grey Area 1

    Sadly the USA is broken. The so-called great experiment has failed. I consider the US is so deeply divided it does not have the capacity to heal itself. While the majority of citizens may want meaningful change (of some description) on gun control its corrupt political system ensures this doesn't happen. Especially with people like Abbott, Cruz, Taylor-Greene and many more like them in the political mix.

    MS asks "if not now, when?"

    I would say the last time, and the time before that, and before that …

  2. Ad 2

    Tough moment for Ardern to be put in, on tour doing a good job pushing trade and tourism, having to field firearms policy questions.

    There must be a strong temptation for Biden to set up the Ardern meet and do the Roosevelt Room media talk, then double down with her on effective gun reform.

    Hope she gets the meet. She's got a strong story to tell.

  3. New Zealand's firearm laws don't appear to be working in Auckland at the moment

    • AB 3.1

      "Working" is a relative term. Do you mean "not working well" "not working perfectly" or "not working at all"? If you qualify the statement, it's possible to have a good faith discussion. (Though I don't think that's your intention.)

      • Nordy 3.1.1

        Agreed…like a lot of people who seemingly don't understand public policy and the attendant issues of complexity mixed with human behaviour, CR has made a rash comment without context or any sense of the issues.

        • Visubversa

          Yes, every one of those guns in the hands of gang members was either stolen from a "responsible gun owner" who did hot have adequate safety and storage arrangements, or, sold to them by one of those Responsible gun owners" or one of those "responsible licensed gun sellers".

          • Jenny how to get there


            26 May 2022 at 3:52 pm

            Yes, every one of those guns in the hands of gang members was either stolen from a "responsible gun owner"….

            Indeed. Which is why there needs to be even tougher gun control.

            What for instance is a "responsible gun owner"?

            Is is it some rich white guy with a gun fetish who calls himself a "collector" who keeps his guns in his second luxury home on the Coromandel?

            On returning from a business trip finds his glass gun display safe emptied after his home was broken into?

            Personally I find these so called "collectors" obscene obsession offensive.
            For those New Zealanders who can afford it, gun collecting is lesser example of the sort of sickness that has gripped America.

            I would like to see that category of private gun ownership banned. Totally.

            The only possible place for a gun collection should be in a museum. Even then, we shouldn't need more than one for the whole country.

            I don't care how rich or white they are. If someone doesn't have a practical use for a gun other than displaying them to inflate their macho ego and impress their friends. They shouldn't have one gun, let alone a collection.
            Responsible my eye. Self righteous, Self intitled, Self centred, Egotistical, more like it.

            • I don't care how rich or white they are. If someone doesn't have a practical use for a gun other than displaying them to inflate their macho ego and impress their friends. They shouldn't have one gun, let alone a collection.
              Responsible my eye. Self righteous, Self entitled, Self centred, Egotistical, more like it.


            • Joe Bloggs

              No firearm can be legally stored in a glass case (in firing condition).

              Museum collections for example are required to have their firing pins removed and potentially other components and stored in specified types of safes including potentially at a different location). So what you are effectively seeing a firearm shaped hunk of wood, metal, and plastic.

              Privately held firearms are required to be stored in safes with specified types and thicknesses of metals, type of locks which are additionally required to bolted in place or in a safe room which again has a whole list of required specifications but can most easily be compared to a bank vault/secure room.

              In all cases, these security requirements are meant to be inspected by the Police at the time a license is issued/renewed or the person moves however it is another one of those areas where they have in recent years significantly been dropping the ball and not meeting their legal obligations.

              If you are aware of a firearms owner who is keeping their firearms in the manner that you portrayed I suggest you contact your local Police Station and advise them so as something is not right and they are either breaking the law and should lose their license and firearms or you may be mistake and they're aren't real firearms and are actually replicas which have can be displayed "in the open" but not in a manner that should cause concern to the public eg he can't be waving them around on his front lawn.

          • Joe Bloggs

            That's not quite accurate.

            It has been the assumption for many years and one pushed by the media for years however recently that opinion is changing.

            For example, it was reported in December 2021 that 527 pistols we seized by the police from criminals over the previous 12 months. Pistols in NZ have required individual registration (serial numbers record etc) for decades (as long as I can remember) and additional security requirements since the changers post Aromoana I believe (over the past 20 years at least).

            Now those 527 firearms if they were legally Imported into NZ and should trackable be from that point right the way through to their sale and any subsequent sales. The fact that to the firearm community's understanding and my own there have been no further charges/loss of licenses etc (and the community is fairly small in NZ) would indicate that the Police haven't been able to link them back to any significant break-in of legal owners, or illegal sales etc.

            And why would we consider that any organisation that is capable of importing drugs or other illegal substances into the country wouldn't also be importing firearms? The other avenue that hasn't had (in my opinion) enough light shone onto it is the number of gang members who have been issued firearms legally to known Gang Members and known Gang associates who have then purchased firearms and ammunition and passed/sold them onto other criminals. This is clearly a failure of the license issuing process and another reason why the Police should not be responsible for the Firearms Administration because like they did with the Christchurch terrorist they keep screwing it up by not following their own processes and meeting their legal obligations.

            And when they do fall short they never take responsibility or are suitably punished to ensure their failures don't reoccur.

            Just think about the number of Police stuff ups in recent years:
            – Citizens shot under "foggy" circumstances (3 jump to mind Steven Wallace, The Auckland Courier Driver, The recent shooting of a gang member over Easter around Naiper/Taupo),
            – The theft of firearms from a police station
            – The number of firearms loss while on duty including one in the Beehive.
            – Several occasions where they have shot themselves or other Police Staff when On Duty or during Training
            – Over 26 occasions since 2015 where they have accidentally discharged firearms (including in Police Stations when other staff and members of the public were present).

            Firearm loss from legal owners is a problem but in the same way that cars stolen from legal owners and subsequently used by criminals in the commission of crimes (like what is occurring with the current plague of Ram Raids or even gang shootings).

    • Sanctuary 3.2

      No one has been killed. The guns were not legally purchased, or came with 30 round magazines, or had a cache of 300 rounds. Stop trolling.

  4. gsays 4

    As Grey Area says, the US is broken.

    Michael Moore in one of his films (Dude, where is my country? I think) looks at gun culture in the US vs guns in Canada.

    I agree that gun laws and culture need to change. A lot like putting bollards in front of the dairy to stop ram-raiders getting ciggies, the solution doesn't fix the underlying problem.

    Generational poverty and not belonging to their community is what the resources should be addressing.

  5. Joe Bloggs 5

    Hi AB,

    I can't comment on Christopher's intentions however I am prepared to comment.

    First off I want to say that I'm 45 y.o, am Licensed Firearm Owner, was first taken shooting when I was around 4 or 5 y.o and have worked in roles when I have been required to carry and utilise firearms in a professional capacity. I do not claim to be an expert but I do believe I have sufficient experience and exposure to speak with "authority".

    I would argue that the current firearm laws are completely failing New Zealand when subject to any reasonable measure of success.
    – The Administrators of NZ's firearm laws (The Police) are failing in their obligations contained within the laws (Time Frames for applications/renewal of licenses, security inspections) and have done so since at least the passing of the 2018 Armendments to the Arms act.

    I can't comment when exactly the issues begun however from my own experience with my last renewal (2016) going through the entire process took me about 8 weeks (including arranging visits from Arms officers to conduct interviews and security checks). This process is now taking an excess of 8 and time frames of +12 months are not uncommon to hear about.

    – Criminal use of firearms has increased over the past 11 years and rapidly since 2019
    Firearms Relates Offences By Year (https://bityl.co/CNMm)
    2011 – 943
    2012 – 960
    2013 – 820
    2014 – 855
    2015 – 919
    2016 – 990
    2017 – 981
    2018 – 901
    2019 – 1142
    2020 – 1143
    2021 – 1324

    – Criminals convicted of crimes involving firearms are being given pathetic sentences which are seen as zero deterrent, with judges seeming to treat criminals with multiple firearm-related convictions in a manner more suited for a petty shoplifter.

    – Following the Christchurch Attack the Firearms community has been vilified and scapegoated (rightly/wrongly). The end result however has been a community that previously was strongly supportive of the Police department feeling like they have become the enemy and the relationship between the two completely destroyed.

    They have on multiple occasions both before Christchurch and post Christchurch tried to make real recommendations that would make a difference, however politicians on both side of the house have largely ignored these citizens and pursued their own agendas/viewpoints and allowed the Police Department that has repeatedly failed New Zealand around to enable them to pursue theirs.

    Personally if New Zealanders want to see a real difference around firearm laws they should insist:
    A) The Christchurch Royal Commision's recommendation to setup a separate body fire arms legislation and take it away from the Police Department so they become enforcers of the law only. Instead the separate body is being setup and will be administered by the Police still.

    B) Politicians should outline exactly what objectives that they want to achieve with the firearms legislation and allow the community (Not firearm community but entire NZ Community) to have their input and legislation developed from that. Not what happened post Christchurch which was an absolute mockery of the legislative process.

    • Ross 5.1

      Good comments.

      About 10 people are murdered each year with guns and many more hospitalised with gun injuries. Many suicides are committed with guns.

      In 2015, journalist Heather du Plessis-Allan bought a gun through the post by mailing in a form to the gun shop. The way she was able to buy the gun has apparently been changed so it couldn’t be repeated, but it doesn’t give confidence to the public.



      • Ross 5.1.1

        In 1997, retired judge Sir Thomas Thorp made numerous recommendations regarding gun control in New Zealand. Politicians from both sides largely ignored those recommendations. Long before the Christchurch massacre Thorp recommended banning assault rifles, and putting restrictions on the sale of other firearms.


        • Joe Bloggs

          The intent behind many of the Thorp recommendations I believe we reasonable. However, the implementation of most I think were completely dumb.

          For example, Post Aromoana and Pre Christchurch firearms were broken into 3 categories:
          A – Rifles (Firearms greater than 65cm)
          B – Pistols (Firearms smaller than 65cm)
          C – Collector Firearms (For museums, collectors of historic weapons)
          E – MSSA's (Military Styled Semi-Automatic) Rifles

          Now C-Cat weapons are the easiest ones. They were potentially fully automatic weapons like you would find in current or historic conflicts and covered everything from WW1 Maximum Guns to a Modern M-249 SAW. These were not able to be kept in a firable condition (firing pins and other components removed and stored separately) or ever able to be fired.

          There was a sub C category for the entertainment industry to allow the production of things tv or movies which used fully automatic blank firearms which could be fired but I've never been involved in that side of things so never looked into so can't really comment more).

          However, all of these were(and are) fully registered.

          B-Cat covered pistols and "short weapons which are easily concealable. These also were (and are) individually registered also.

          Then we come to A and E.
          Following Aromoana the MSSA classification was introduced. Quite frankly it was completely stupid and focused primarily on the appearance of a firearm vs its actual capabilities as it defined a MSSA as a firearm that had A pistol grip, bayonet lugs, collapsible stock and flash hinder (reduces the muzzle flash). It did however also allow the use of magazines capable of storing more than 15 rounds of .22lr or 7 of any other calibre).

          A Category was pretty much every other long rifle which didn't have any of the physical characteristics of a MSSA and was restricted to 15 round .22lr and 7 rounds of anything else.

          This created a ridiculous situation where you could buy for example a Ruger 10/22 (probably the world's most popular and customisable .22 rifle in the world. It is base configuration a standard looking rifle with a 10 round magazine no problems at all. You could upgrade it to a round magazine, no issue, but you put a 30 round magazine it suddenly changed classification from an A cat rifle to an E Cat (with completely different licensing and security classifications).

          It lead to a number of complaints from the firearms community and legal cases taken against the Police Department around this classification for which they were never listened to. Including for such things as people wanting to put a pistol grip onto a 10/22 or even a thumbhole grip because I was "like" a pistol grip. None of this changes what the rifle was capable of doing and arguable actually improves the safety of the firearm by allowing the user better control and stability of it.

          And this was what was exploited by the Christchurch Terrorist.

          He took an A-Cat Firearm, Purchased a high capacity magazine (which could be done with no legal requirements/checks (anybody including those who didn't have any sort of firearms license could purchase and own a magazine).

          Placed it into his Legally owned and purchased A-Cat Firearm (now making it an E-Cat which he wasn't legally licensed for) and committed his crimes.

          But even before any of that occurred the Police failed to follow their own licensing process and gave him a license that should never have been issued in the first place.

      • Joe Bloggs 5.1.2

        Hi Ross,

        Clearly Heather broke the law (she created a false license using a proper license number) which resulted in the Dealer who followed the rules (that had been put in place by the Police) getting a "positive verification" to allow the purchase to proceed and exposed a loophole on the process the Police put in place.

        Again it is yet another example of the Police failing in their role as administrators of the firearms acts.

  6. Puckish Rogue 6


    'In June 2021, Gendron had been investigated by police in Broome County for threatening other students at his high school.'

    'A teacher had asked him about his plans after the school year, and he responded, "I want to murder and commit suicide. "He was referred to a hospital for mental health evaluation and counseling but was released after being held for a day and a half.'

    'Gendron told police that he was joking; he would later write online about how it was a well-executed bluff. He was not charged in connection with the incident; investigators said that he had not made a specific enough threat to warrant further action.'

    'The New York State Police did not seek an order from a state court to remove guns from Gendron's possession. The mental health evaluation was not an involuntary commitment, which would have prohibited him from buying guns under federal law.'

    Rather than a knee jerk (albeit understandable) reaction the first thing that needs to happen is to look at whether the existing laws would have helped because it seems to me there were some steps that could have been taken and weren't

    • McFlock 6.1

      For example, was the steel door that the cops apparently couldn't get through the result of "hardening" schools against these attacks? Same with the ditch and the barricades that failed to stop him getting inside? What use were the school "liaison" officers?

      All of that stuff failed or actively aided the kid with a gun. I'll be cynically interested to see what they come up with next rather than actually addressing the gun problem.

      Such a fucking waste all around.

      • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1

        I want to know what drives these men to do these things

        • mac1

          A seriously good question, PR. I saw on Facebook a reference to a study from a California Uni that said that misogyny played a part, with many shooting wives, girl friends, on their rampage. This latest shot his grandmother.

          I'll see if I can find a citable reference. There'll be more than pure misogyny for sure but it's a form of hatred like those that must be deeply involved.
          Here it is.

          • Incognito

            Literally just eye-balling search results on Google, it is really scary to see how many may have killed their grandmothers. Makes you wonder what’s going on with that.

        • McFlock

          Sure. In the meantime, the means that enable people of any age to murder dozens of people in minutes/seconds are obvious, and just as conspicuously ignored by some folks.

        • Anne

          Because in their not fully developed fevered brains they see it as a way of becoming instantly famous and the American Fundamentalist Right is willing to accommodate them?

          • Puckish Rogue

            Then maybe the media could help by not publicising the names of the shooters and not splashing the crimes on tv 24/7

        • Blazer

          It's because the 'American Dream'. is not working.. for them.

        • KJT

          The whole "man alone with a gun" "don't tread on me" "frontersman" "protecting your family" mythos of the USA, may have a lot to do with it. Along with the extreme social differences and lack of cohesion.

          Their examplers are people who take the law into their own hands, in popular culture, movies and writing. “Upset me and I will shoot”.

          Lots of guns in NZ, but nowhere near the rate of shootings. Outside of gangs.

    • newsense 6.2

      John Oliver did a section on mental health care in the States a fair while ago now, where the focus was on the police becoming the first and last line of contact for those with mental health issues.
      There was little sharing of information and a fairly broken system.

  7. Mike the Lefty 7

    To the American right and gun lovers the killing of these children is just "collateral damage" – little hiccups you get when you have a "snuggle up to the gun…" attitude to life and are arrogant enough to think that it is just business as usual.

    I hope that the people in the US who want change can take some inspiration from Jacinda Adern being there at the moment. They are looking for someone to give them hope and Jacinda is probably the best choice they can get. Her trade mission has effectively been scuppered so she might as well do the best she can in the circumstances.

    • Jenny how to get there 7.1

      Inspiring is the the word.
      Jacinda Ardern is an inspirational leader, She needs to step up again.
      This is an opportunity to punch above our weight on the world stage on an important global issue.. Let us hope that our PM can take the opportunity to go on talk TV to explain her government's rational for imposing restrictions on the ownership and buy back of semi-automatic weapons following the tragedy in Christchurch.

      • Mike the Lefty 7.1.1

        Yes, the people in the US who really want change see Jacinda as the person who did make change, thus she is seen as a role model and a unifying force.

        Jacinda's detractors, of course, will say it is all a load of b..s but if she can be the catalyst for meaningful change in the way the US regards guns then good on her.

        I suppose only time will tell.

        Her trade and tourism mission can't really proceed as planned and no doubt National and ACT will criticise her for wasted opportunities. But you would have to be completely insensitive and lacking in feeling to want to talk about trade when the Americans are still in a state of shock and that doesn't sound like the sort of person Jacinda is.

  8. " The authorities have had to use DNA samples to identify the kids, basically because they had their heads blown off with an assault rifle "

    Mickey Savage you did not have to include that graphic , vile description in your post.

    These children who have lost their lives deserve better than this.

    • mickysavage 8.1

      Why is that? When I understood the need I was utterly appalled. If achieving better gun control measures requires this unfortunate truth to be amplified then so be it.

      • aj 8.1.1

        If achieving better gun control measures requires this unfortunate truth to be amplified then so be it.

        Thank you for stating this. Those children who have lost their lives deserve all efforts possible to prevent more slaughter, even if this mean offending the tender sensibilities of adults.

        I think people who sell guns should be compelled to display photographs showing the consequences of using them on humans. Fuck them.

        • Mat Simpson

          " Thank you for stating this. Those children who have lost their lives deserve all efforts possible to prevent more slaughter, even if this mean offending the tender sensibilities of adults.

          How patronising is that comment. How does all possible efforts mean that has to include that type of description ! Its about care and respect for the innocent lives wiped out here. Tender sensibilities is an atrocious choice of words to describe the point I was making. You have jumped on the bandwagon without really thinking through this reply.

      • Jenny how to get there 8.1.2

        You haven't amplified it you have stated a fact. The devastated parents of these poor children won't be spared from knowing this fact. The purpose of Mat Simpson's comment is to spare us knowing it. The real vile description of shooting deaths is the sanitised version presented to us by the gun lobby that they would have us believe.

      • Mat Simpson 8.1.3

        " When I understood the need I was totally appalled "

        At that point you lost the need to be objective.

      • joe90 8.1.4

        If achieving better gun control measures requires this unfortunate truth to be amplified then so be it.

        The unfortunate truth amplified.

        In 1962, the Pentagon had a pickle on its hands: America wanted to give South Vietnam guns with which to kill its Communist brothers and sisters in North Vietnam, but we couldn’t figure out which guns. The answer became as clear 50 years ago as it is today: The AR-15 is an incredibly good tool for killing lots of other humans.


        The results, culled from evaluations by American “advisors” and South Vietnamese already deployed against the Viet Cong, were crystalline: “The lethality of the AR-IS and its reliability record were particularly impressive.”

        The report describes, with grisly detail, how the AR-15, chambered with the same .223 ammunition that it uses today, not only killed VC soldiers but decapitated and dismembered them:

        VC soldiers shot with the AR-15 were regularly described as looking as if they had “exploded”:


        Another report notes that among five VC soldiers shot and killed by an AR-15 in one engagement, “four were probably killing wounds with any weapon listed, but the fifth was essentially a flesh wound. The AR-15 made it a fatal wound.” Another field report describes how an AR-15 shot “exploded” one man’s head and turned another person’s torso into “one big hole.”


  9. It wont achieve better gun control measures. 2012 Sandy hook happened and despite the appalling loss of children's lives nothing has changed.

    Unfortunate truth has no impact on the debate , if it had American children would not be the victims of these heinous crimes.

    Be utterly appalled without demeaning these innocent victims.

  10. joe90 10

    Their good guys with guns shtick doesn't work.

  11. adam 11

    Can we call these people what they are, terrorists.

    Sorry to play the race card, but is it because they are white nationalists they are not called as such?

    The Buffalo shooter was a wolf pack far right terrorist. The usual nut bar we know so well here in NZ.

    Not sure about the latest individuals motivation, but to go into a school and shot children in the head, is an act of terror.

    • Puckish Rogue 11.1

      'Sorry to play the race card, but is it because they are white nationalists they are not called as such?'

      Well no, its not a race thing so much as a gender thing and I don’t want to assume the ethnicity of the shooter but given his name is Salvador Ramos you can draw your own conclusions


      Because a little over half the shootings are carried out by a white people (though lets be honest, its mostly men) which means theres a lot of shootings being carried out by non-whites

      Thats assuming these stats are correct because I'm not entirely sure if the USA government keeps stats on mass shootings and what the exact definition of a mass shooting is

    • Belladonna 11.2

      No, I don't think it's a race thing.

      From his name and photo he’s Latin American, as were the majority of the kids he murdered.

      But, in this case, there seems to be no political or any other motivation, apart from the desire to just kill people. And, particularly cowardly, to kill children.

      Terrorism requires a cause.

      Mass murderer, yes. Terrorist, no.

      • Puckish Rogue 11.2.1


        Hopefully we'll get some answers about what happened

        Why red flags were ignored?

        Why didnt the cops go in immediately?

        Could this have been stopped if laws and processes already in place have been followed?

  12. SPC 12

    The Republicans are currently holding up legislation in the Senate to require background checks.

    The current media focus is on new legislation requiring a higher minimum age – say 21.

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