Did you notice? It was the most remarkable thing. One evening last week, the House Judiciary Committee approved legislation that would impose the first assault- weapons ban in this country since an earlier ban was allowed to expire in 2004. Sure, the vote was predictable — 25 Democrats in favor, 18 Republicans opposed — but it’s been many years and many mass shootings since a congressional body felt compelled to approve really meaningful gun-safety legislation. (As much as we support gun-safety legislation that President Biden signed a few weeks ago, co-sponsored by our own Sen. John Cornyn, its gun-related components — including “incentives” for red-flag laws — were modest.)
Then again, maybe there was a reason last week’s judiciary committee vote was, in newspaper jargon, “below the fold.” It wasn’t that big a deal, because, whatever the House passes is destined to suffer a quick defeat in an evenly divided Senate.