Reporter's Notebook: What Mitch McConnell said and did not say about guns

I learned a long time ago to pay close attention to the precise verbiage of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell usually says what he means. It’s others who divine meaning and interpretation onto the language of the Kentucky Republican. But, without fail, McConnell says exactly what he means.

Consider what McConnell said during a recent appearance on WHAS Radio in Louisville about guns.


“We’re going to begin these discussions over the August break and when we get back  [Sept. 9], hopefully, we’ll be in a position to agree on things on a bipartisan basis and go forward and make law.”

So, let’s parse what McConnell didn’t say. 

The majority leader didn’t say the Senate would have a formal “debate” on the Senate floor about firearms, as at least a couple of news outlets reported. McConnell didn’t say the Senate would even consider a bill.

“I want to make a law,” McConnell said.

Such a proposition would entail the Senate debating actual legislation. But McConnell didn’t commit to that. The majority leader was vague about what bill or bills could be candidates to become law. He also indicated prospective legislation would have to

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