Don’t Call the New Federal Gun Law a Gun Law

“Yeah, I think that was,” Republican senator Thom Tillis says of Cornyn’s unscientific news clipping.

JFK’s Legacy

For Tillis, what truly unified the disparate group of progressives and conservatives was data—just not gun data. Instead, he says, their negotiations were most influenced by former president John F. Kennedy.

On October 31, 1963, Kennedy signed into law the Community Mental Health Act, a measure aimed at replacing asylums with community-based mental health clinics. Three weeks later, Kennedy was gunned down, burying the promise of his vision to reform mental health care in the US. In the ensuing decades, communities nationwide ditched asylums, but robust funding for local clinics never materialized.

In 2014, Congress passed

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