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Commentary: Democrats say Congress ‘should act’ on guns — but they’re too cowardly to talk details

Democrat politicians continually call for "action" on guns, but they rarely give action steps. That's because being honest about what "more gun control" looks like would cause them to lose their seat in Congress. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

It took no time at all for Democrats, the media, and opponents of Second Amendment rights to call for more gun control after a gunman opened fire in Las Vegas Sunday night, killing at least 58 people and injuring more than 500 others.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a devout opponent of gun rights, said:

This must stop. It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren't public policy responses to this epidemic. There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with legislative indifference. It's time for Congress to get off its ass and do something.

Meanwhile, the Los Angles Times editorial board wrote: "The slaughter in Las Vegas is all too familiar, yet Americans refuse to stop it."

Many other politicians and progressives made similar claims about guns on Monday, including former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who for some unknown reason tweeted about silencers as a way to bash the National Rifle Association.

It's more than understandable — natural even — to advocate for a legislative remedy after another shooting, this one the deadliest in U.S. history. But when politicians only call for action, instead of offering action steps, their words are shallow and meaningless, and likely only made to score political points with their base.

Murphy, throughout his Senate career, has been an anti-Second Amendment crusader. If you go to his campaign website right now — ChrisMurphy.com — you will be greeted with a single message, "Congress must pass comprehensive legislation to make our communities safer from gun violence." That's how Murphy defines his political career.

However, what you won't find is a list of steps Congress should take to adequately rectify what he views as one of the most pressing issues in the U.S.: not enough gun control.

If Murphy and other Democrats were serious about implementing more gun control, then they would offer legitimate steps for Congress to take in order to more tightly control guns. But they rarely do so — why?

Likely because being honest about what "more gun control" looks like would cause them to lose their seat in Congress.

We don't yet know whether the Las Vegas shooter used a fully-automatic weapon or a modified semi-automatic rifle. Video taken during the shooting makes it appear he was using a fully-automatic weapon, while some experts believe it could have been a modified semi-automatic. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday afternoon that at least one of the guns the shooter used was fully automatic.

If the shooter used a fully-automatic weapon, then there is little Congress can do about it. That's because fully-automatic weapons were effectively made illegal in 1934 by the National Firearms Act. The Hughes Amendment in 1986 put further restrictions on automatic firearms and completely outlawed automatic firearms made in 1986 or later from being purchased or imported. If you're a legal U.S. citizen without a criminal record, you could buy an automatic weapon today. However, you would need to register with the ATF and pay a tax stamp of $200. Seems easy right? No. Most automatic weapons are the price of a new car — making them unaffordable for most Americans.

If the shooter used a modified semi-automatic — which itself is illegal — Congress could conceivably outlaw "assault weapons," which is just a phrase used to describe scary-looking rifles. However, America has already tried the assault weapons ban and it didn't work. Not only that, but over the last 10 years, the Supreme Court has ruled numerous times in-favor of the Second Amendment and upheld the rights of gun owners.

What else is there to do? What action can be taken to implement enough gun control that satisfies Democratic politicians like Murphy? Oh, that's right, gun confiscation.

Second Amendment opponents love to talk about how Great Britain and Australia seemingly solved gun problems, but they fail to mention that 1) gun rights aren't a foundational right in those countries' constitutions, and 2) countries with strict gun control laws who previously had gun rights were able to grab most guns from their citizens via gun confiscation.

And that's exactly what Democrats like Murphy want. No amount of reasonable restrictions will ever be good enough. There are background checks. There are ammunition restrictions. There are magazine capacity restrictions, location restrictions, concealment restrictions. There are an endless amount of regulations on firearms in each state. Only confiscation will satisfy the gun-free vision that Murphy and others like him idolize.

They could at least be honest about it, instead of continually offering up their shallow words. Most people respect transparency, even if they have differing viewpoints.

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