Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said Sunday that key parts of a bipartisan Senate gun control proposal may violate progressive values.
Even some liberals are starting to realize there’s no such thing as woke gun control.
.@AOC tells me she is worried about the criminalization in the gun framework: “particularly, the juvenile criminalization, the expansion of background checks into juvenile records, I want to explore the implications of that and how specifically i’s designed and tailored.” 1/
— Eric Michael Garcia (@EricMGarcia) June 13, 2022
Ocasio-Cortez also raised concerns about plans to increase spending on school security and mental health treatment, two responses to school shootings advocated by Republicans.
- “After Columbine, we hired thousands of police officers into schools and while it didn’t prevent many of the mass shootings that we’ve seen now, it has increased the criminalization of teens in communities like mine,” she said.
- Regarding the potential for increased “stigmatization” of mental health issues, Ocasio-Cortez said “what people are blaming on mental health are really deeper issues of violent misogyny and white supremacy.”
In an appearance on CNN Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez elaborated on her objections to the Senate framework, saying she was “disappointed” with its focus on “juvenile criminalization” rather than firearms themselves.
- “If we’re talking about just using this as an excuse to dramatically increase an enforcement mechanism that we know is not capable right now of preventing mass shootings, then I’m not really interested in doing something for show for the American public,” she said.
- But Ocasio-Cortez also called the background check provision “encouraging” and said she hoped to be able to vote “yes” on the yet-to-be-drafted bill, which has the tentative backing of 10 Republicans and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
HOW THEY REACTED
Ocasio-Cortez’s comments were criticized by gun control advocates like Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting.
.@AOC, the issue is SAVING kids from gun violence and we should not be taking "baby steps" to do it. I would like to schedule a zoom with you, me, and other supporters of this legislation. You are wrong and I would like you to hear from us. https://t.co/GtvKIgM96z
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) June 14, 2022
Meanwhile, some conservative social media users noted the irony of Ocasio-Cortez seemingly aligning herself with gun rights supporters.
Wait, did AOC just go so far left that she ended up being pro gun? I'm confused.
— pt 1789 (@Pt1789) June 14, 2022
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
In a recent Washington Post op-ed, left-wing journalist Matthew Yglesias pointed to a contradiction in the left’s preferred approach to gun violence that has long been noted on the right.
- Citing the refusal of some Democratic district attorney’s to prioritize gun possession cases, Yglesias argued, “[Progressives] will need to come to terms with the fact that reducing gun violence will require more policing and incarceration, not less.”
- “If progressives want to make guns harder to get but don’t want to prosecute those who have guns illegally,” he added, “then … it’s almost as if they’re inviting a future in which only outlaws will have guns.”