The U.S. Senate next week will reportedly take up debate on a bill to require background checks on potential victims of mass shootings. The alternative to increased gun-purchase background checks came out of closed-door negotiations among Senate leaders when they discovered that mass-shooting victims are easier to spot in advance than mass shooters.
“Victims of mass shootings have some consistent markers,” said one unnamed Senate aide. “They’re the type who tend to congregate in enclosed spaces, unarmed, and who surround themselves with other utterly-defenseless individuals. If we can screen for those factors, perhaps we can develop measures to prevent the behaviors that lead to mass victimization.”
The controversial measure is expected to meet with stiff resistance from Senate Democrats who see potential-victim background checks as “infringing on a person’s God-given natural right to avoid self-defense,” as one unnamed Northeastern senator put it.
“All this does is stigmatize law-abiding citizens,” the Democrat senator said, noting that the bill is the biggest threat yet to the popular perception of safety in “gun-free zones” like schools and theaters.
Indeed, nationwide polls show that people like the idea of believing that a prohibition on carrying guns in certain places, or limitations on buying certain weapon types, will immunize them from sudden ballistic impact syndrome.