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MurphTheSurf3 On April - 18 - 2013


A large majority of the electorate wanted this bill to pass.

A significant majority of members of the GOP wanted this bill to pass.

A majority of gun owners wanted this bill to pass.

But the American House of Lords, said NO, NO, NO, NO

The Background Check Bill was a weak one, terribly watered down, and it probably would have only improved gun safety/responsibility marginally, BUT it would have been a step forward.

AND, the electorate clearly wanted OUR representatives to act in OUR name even if the action was a half hearted one.


Yes, the Background Check Bill was full of holes. Yes, the Assault Weapons Bans were not well thought out. Yes, the magazine limits seemed a bit capricious. Yes, the mental health resource improvements fall short of the real need. But, it was a step- a small, grudging, slow step AND I have no doubt that a watered down bill would have turned into a misty bill in the House Committee assigned to it and then to a vaporous fog on the floor of the House before being voted down there, but there is value in voting. There is value in going on the record.

But, a vote to proceed to votes on each of the bills would have said that the Senate understood that a vote on the substance of the bills was the LEAST they could do, but it would have been something. A step forward. But those who voted against cloture were afraid of even that meager step

What was needed today was courage. The Senators who voted against cloture- moving the bill forward to be voted on- were a mixed lot. Some, perhaps many, are 2nd Amendment Absolutists and regard anything that inhibits the exercise of the right to bear and carry arms as Unamerican. I imagine that a number of these Senators actually object to the laws that are currently on the books.

But I am certain there were others in that group of 45 who knew the right thing to do and did not do it. And among those who knew what was right, there were some from states where they could have sold the idea of reasonable changes in the law to their voters. Why did they vote the way they did? Simple…..They love their office, their power, their money so much that they are willing to ignore their own consciences and the will of the voters. They are unwilling to take the risk that standing up to the NRA, the gun lobby, the ultra right requires.  Unwilling to take the risk….unwilling and perhaps unable.

When our leaders are unwilling to act in the name of justice, in the name of conscience, in the name of the good of the people…then they should no longer be in office.

PS: Remember that background checks is not the only one to fail today.

So did efforts to curb gun trafficking. Gun trafficking! Imagine voting to keep illegal guns on the streets in large numbers. That is what they did. Totally gutless.

Written by MurphTheSurf3

Proud to be an Independent Progressive. I am a progressive- a one time Eisenhower Republican who is now a Democrat. I live in a very RED STATE and am a community activist with a very BLUE AGENDA. Historian, and "Gentleman Farmer."

38 Responses so far.

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  1. AdLib says:

    He’s not letting the NRA stop him…

    Obama acts to strengthen gun background check system

    President Barack Obama, moving swiftly after the Senate rejected a measure to expand background checks for gun buyers, acted on Friday to patch holes in the existing database dealers use to ensure they are not selling weapons to criminals or the mentally ill.

    The Health and Human Services Department will issue a formal proposal on Friday to make sure one of its privacy laws does not prevent states from reporting information to the background check system.

    The rule allows hospitals and agencies to disclose data when it is required by law, but some states did not have explicit laws requiring state agencies to share data from mental health records, said a report last year by the Government Accountability Office, a federal government watchdog.


  2. AdLib says:

    This is the America the NRA wants to be the norm:

    Gunman reportedly kills police officer at MIT in Boston

    An intense manhunt is underway for a gunman who shot and killed a campus officer Thursday evening at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

    The Middlesex County District Attorney’s office confirmed the officer’s death. The officer, who has not been identified, was reportedly answering a disturbance call when he was shot multiple times about 10:30 p.m.

    Meanwhile, the university is pleading for students to stay indoors and out of harm’s way.

    “The shooter remains at large, police continue to search the campus,” the school warned in a campus alert at 12:37 a.m. “Please REMAIN INDOORS until further notice.”


    How does that go again, the only thing that kills a good guy with a gun is a bad guy with a gun?

    A constant state of fear, terror and paranoia, that is the America the NRA had their puppets vote for yesterday. In the end, they must be defeated.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      And now we know that the brothers did not have licenses to own/carry the weapons they had. Neither would have likely qualified. The older’s background check would have likely run into the FBI tag and the younger was too young. I wonder how they got them. Both sides in the issue are playing that fact to their advantage. Let the spinning of the plates begin.

      The pro gunners are saying that background checks only work with the law abiding and that this proves it.

      The anti gunners are saying the system is full of holes that must be closed.

      • SallyT says:

        Murph, thank you for your article. I heard that they thought that the older brother probably got the guns at a gun show, with all its loopholes, or from someone off the street.

        I guess it is left to be seen how or why. Don’t register your guns but must register with ID to vote. No need for government regulations or zoning laws because that allows fertilizer companies build next to schools, neighborhoods and over store their dangerous product. (Yet, give Federal dollars if someone F’s up.) No immigration reform because that allows terrorist into our country at age 8 and 15 to comment crimes 10-11 years later. Home grown terror acts, such as Newtown, are something different.

    • choicelady says:

      Thank you, Murph. Very well said. When representative democracy no longer represents the very explicit will of the people, it needs to be retooled. We will not forget the Senators who were craven in their refusal to support even this weakened bill.

      We will NOT forget. Not.

      • BourneID says:

        Choice, where have you been? I have’t seen you on Vox for the past two or three weeks, unless your logging in late.

        Nice to see yo.


      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        The sad thing is that the Senators from the Red States are being heralded as heroic defenders of the Constitution and of the right of citizens to defend themselves in those states.

        For those in purple states- the choice was more nuanced (as the co-sponsors of the background check bill…Toomey and Mancin, demonstrate).

    • Ad, Mass, has about the strictest gun laws in the country. It’s very hard for people there to buy guns. I think these two most likely got their guns from some criminal/radical element. They also had more explosives and HAND GRENADES. They are definitely being supplied by some terror group.

      • choicelady says:

        At the end of the day, the brothers were caught by police, NOT by a Rambo wannabe. Some dipshit southern legislators said Bostonians were cowering in their homes wishing they had AR-15s. Nope. They were following directions and trusting the police. No one was running around armed and adding to the danger. They believed in their sworn officials and were not irrational to do so. The worst thing that could have happened was for untrained gun slingers to add to the fray -- especially since one of them accosted an unarmed Muslim mother pushing her baby in a stroller. Everyone -- not Muslims -- around the woman came, unarmed, to her aid and shoved the guy away.

        Gun slingers add nothing but danger to the mix. The police were amazing, and they did what they were trained and capable of doing.

        That’s our ‘well regulated militia’ in action, thanks.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          I think there might have been a greater sense of safety for homeowners with firearms- in Mass. the users and the weapon are licensed. Now whether it would have created more danger for the police, for the public, or not is an open question. BUT noone can carry outside the home unless they have a special permit, which hardly anyone has.

      • AdLib says:

        KT -- That would certainly make for a powerful argument against the NRA and GOP’s “Guns for Terrorists!” policy. I haven’t heard about their having hand grenades, just heard they were throwing some of their handmade bombs as the police were chasing their car.

        Don’t know that they had to be supplied by any group to get the guns and make the explosives but we’ll soon have a lot more info on all of this now that they’ve cornered Dzhokhar.

        • Ad, it certainly would. I don’t know if the grenades were homemade or military type. I guess they were used last night near MIT. I also heard reports that they had at least one automatic weapon.
          I saw a video taken during the firefight, and you could definitely hear automatic gunfire. Don’t know if it was coming from the suspects, or police.

          • AdLib says:

            Wow, watching the people of Boston on the streets applauding each police car as they drive by. Very affirming!

            We want our police forces to protect us, not each citizen on their own with an assault weapon.

            • What a great scene. Bostonians, including those in the suburbs are a great bunch of people, with tremendous pride in their city and suburbs. There are people from all over the world in Boston, but the people born and raised there have an almost fanatical love and pride for their city. As well they should.

    • BourneID says:

      AdLib, this is the dangerous message of what was once a respected and necessary organization that victimizes an entire country to promote the interests of the manufacturers who fill their coffers. In your reply to Murph’s column yesterday, you said that we can turn this around and that we will win. I hope you’re right but all of us have to commit to this, but one of the LEAST of our strong points as citizens is patience. Let’s find the weakness in NRA’s message -- the one that will give us the collective voice we need to start bringing reason back in the conversation. I will offer my first question to the NRA. Given the panic, mayhem, fear of an unexpected act of terror of this magniude, how would anyone with a gun in hand have been able to react quickly enough to defend anyone in that moment? The act of timing one’s surprises served their purpose Sunday and Lanza’s purpose in Newtown -- and all the other who murder just for the helluvit.

      i’m now going to post to Murph’s reply to you. See you on Vox tonight.

      • AdLib says:

        Hey Bourne, I do earnestly believe that this has been a turning point for gun control and fighting toe-to-toe against the NRA. The sad thing is that there will of course be more gun violence that will only keep building pressure and activism for sensible gun laws.

        As you say, we do need to adopt this cause as a primary one that won’t fade with time.

        The hypocrisy is that the NRA and the GOP are happy for Americans to compromise all of their Constitutional rights when it comes to terrorism but when it comes to gun terrorism, they howl that there can be no law that can even be seen to lead to any limitations. They are corporate frauds and this BS can’t be sustained.

        See you tonight on Vox!

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Among the first things I thought of when I saw this story was that the NRA is going to make major political hay out of this. “For Americans to be safe, we need assault weapons in every home, and every American ready to ‘go commando’, modern Minute Men and Women.”

      • BourneID says:

        Hi friend,

        I just responded to Adlib’s reply to you. I suggested we must find the weakness in the NRA position about arming everyone old enought to hold a weapon. My question to them is how could anyone with a weapon have been able to do anything to stop what happened in a event of this magnitude with people screaming, running, falling, injured? You know I am a student of SunTzu who reminds us that one of the most important ingredients in winning wars is “the art of timing your surprises.” No one in Boston, Newtown, VA Tech, Aurora and every other place were people were slaughtered woke up in the morning and wondered if this was the day they were going to die. Only then would one make certain to have the fire power necessary to protect himself/herself and others.

        Now let’s go after Congress…

        See you on Vox.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          The only place in all of this that I think gun ownership might have been a value was for those trapped in their homes. One of my fears was that some family in Watertown was being held hostage and that we would only learn of it when the SWAT teams gathered around the home. Having a licensed user and licensed gun in that circumstance -- when the intruder was just trying to get in the house MIGHT have been of use.n

          • BourneID says:


            Just saw your reply in my inbox. i’m sure under those circumstances having a weapon in the home would have made many feel secure, but I think there was so much confusion with sudden evacuations and no time to grab anything let alone a weapon. When they did return to their homes, most near the scenes stood at their windows and shot footage of the activity. A tribute to Bostonians for shootng pictures; i can think of a few places in this country where some might have fired their weapon believing they were helping law enforcement.

            I’m anxious for the first release of info from the interviews of Jabar. It may be weeks but the best of the best are in that hospital room with him, and they are very, very good. I expect without his brother to influence him, they will learn a great deal. Most important will be how many cells and in what cities. They need to neutralize them -- and fast.

  3. Murph, thanks for saying what so many people are thinking. Thousands and thousands of people are pissed off at the Senate for their overt cowardice.

    I think the do nothing filibuster bill is also responsible for this travesty. A 60 vote majority is NOT democracy. I can see some people who are genuinely worried about any encroachment on the 2nd amendment (even if one doesn’t exist), but to be against more effective back round checks is pure lunacy. It flies in the face of the Bill of Rights, in that it certainly does not provide for the general welfare of the people. It actually does the opposite. Disgusting, through and through.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      The filibuster is a good idea IF it is done as it was done for nearly all of the 20th century. Rare, burdensome, and politically risky, undertaking a filibuster was an act political courage. Today it is a cheap tactic. Time for reform, by which I mean I return to the filibuster as it once was. Active, on the floor, sustainable by 40 votes publicly offered as a pledge of support for the action that stops all business in the Senate. The filibuster is a brilliant check on what can be the tyranny of the majority but as it is currently configured we have the tyranny of the minority.

  4. Nirek says:

    Murph, what you say I feel the same. I would add that all our friends here are right on the money. The NRA is made up of cowards!

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      NRA leadership and principal supporters: Cowardly, politically craven, money grubbing, and the miitant. Yep.

      And aren’t they going to parlay the mayhem in MA. into a bonanza! We need more and bigger guns in more homes to protect us from the Chechnyans.

  5. AdLib says:

    Murph, I’m not the type of person who always looks for silver linings in dark clouds. Sometimes bad things happen and that’s that. But I don’t think that is the case this time.

    The callousness, cowardice and selfishness displayed by these 45 Senators along with the utter evil of the NRA in lying, extorting and bribing their will to dominate the will of 90% of Americans has launched a new movement.

    The NRA will no longer be the only group using money, ads and campaigns to influence elections and votes in Congress.

    This was a slap in the face to our very democracy, it laid bare the power that corporate greed has over our government. The vote went against reason and common sense, only benefiting gun manufacturers and aligning these 45 Senators in agreement on wanting criminals, the mentally ill and terrorists to be able to buy guns at will to kill however many innocent Americans they choose.

    It is absurd and obscene and I don’t think the spectacle of the NRA pulling the strings on the US Senate and through them, the entire nation, will be soon forgotten.

    Bloomberg’s money, money from those appalled by the killings at Sandy Hook and elsewhere will now be more focused and I believe, will become a real force to be reckoned with.

    The NRA only has 3 million members. 90% of Americans, who want background checks, equals about 282 million…and that includes most of the 3 million NRA members! We have the numbers, we can raise just as much money and even more, we have common sense on our side.

    It has been gradual but little by little, the destructive policies of the RW have been pushed back by the American public again and again. When it comes to gay equality, immigration and more. Gun safety laws will prevail eventually too as long as people don’t give up…and vote out the people of little or no character in office who soil what our democracy is all about.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      I do hope you are correct. There is not a thing in your comment with which I disagree. I wonder what the impact of the Mayhem in MA will be?

      I was at my favorite watering hole late yesterday afternoon. It rained all day yesterday and I worked in my barns much of the day. I thought a beer or two among friends/neighbors/adversaries might be a good idea.

      The discussion at the bar was interesting. There was hooping and hollering over the “victory” of the 2nd amendment, but there were also questions about the background checks, gun trafficking and that led to lots of stories of people getting around the law at gun shows, on line, via catalogs, through bartering/horse trading, and gifts.

      I raised the point that the guns in Chicago were from the towns around the city, from Indiana and Wi. How? Straw purchases and trafficking. Did the guys (and a couple of gals) think the answer was more guns in the hands of non-criminals, non gang members without training, without education? That led to more discussion and back to my belief that licensing is a much better approach than background checks as a stand alone.

  6. cyrano1 says:

    Murph: Thanks for saying what so many of us feel. And I would add my own feeling of complete powerlessness and utter sadness at that cowardice. How many of us got frantic emails telling us to contact our legislators in the end hours? And there was nothing we could do since so many of our own legislators are in the solid blue (sane) column? We were just left to watch the remaining shreds of that NRA bought-off watered down mess circle the drain and make its way into the sewer.

    Not enough sense of community or obligation towards voting for the interests of constituents when considering the now enshrined (no thanks to Harry) 60 vote requirement.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Filibuster reform is certainly required. And by reform I mean a return to the system that dominated the 20th century. The filibuster used to carry real political risk and it took courage (even when done for the wrong reasons). Today it is a cheap tactic reflecting the kind of politics that now controls the governance of the nation.

      As you point out, with so much of the country now solidly blue or solidly red there is so little room to move and the impact of constituent pressure is large moot. It is either shouting in the face of a hurricane, or its lending one’s support to the wave that moves on with or without us. Add in the power of Big Money and you have a democratic process in bankruptcy.

  7. Greta42 says:

    Agents of the gun culture, acting on behalf of the gun industry to sell guns to all, even criminals and mentally incompetent just for profit. Who in their right mind can support such a stand. They are direct lobbyists for the gun manufacturers while simultaneously and fraudulently pretending to be representing the interests of their constituents. They spread the lies spewed by the NRA knowingly, unabashedly and without shame. They ought to be chased out of office. Where’s the tar and feathers when you need it?

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Completely agree with you on all of this. Now add in the camouflage, cover that 2nd Amendment “Patriotism” provides and the nature of this political malpractice becomes even clearer.

      Such a misuse of the political process by such craven creatures….and most will win reelection handily support by Big Money and the zeal of Tea Party Types.

  8. BourneID says:

    Murph. I may the first, but I am confident, not the last to put on record my respect for this comment. Fact plus emotion are a powerful combination.

    Your remarks regarding the unconscionable inaction of our elected representatives to do the willl of the 90% of us who want a reasonable bill that provides reasonable safety is spot on. Power is an aphrodisiac. It is addictive and dangerous in the hands of the wrong people. Many of them are the wrong people.

    Well done, my friend. This with AdLib’s yesterday moves the discussion to higher ground. Now let’s all of us follow it.


    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Power is an aphrodisiac. It is a good way of putting it. There is something very “sexy” about working one’s will over others for fun and profit.

      I like the idea of pairing my comment with Ad Libs from two days ago.

    • Hey Bourne. Power doesn’t corrupt men…corrupt men corrupt power.

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        Yes- power is morally neutral- it can be used for good or for ill. It is our value systems that drive the use of power. Well said.

      • BourneID says:

        KT my friend, we have not spoken for some time. Your quote is one that is found in the Tao. Yes? I think we see in the simplicity of its language the wisdom that does not replace one’s faith but adds dimension to it.

        Both Murph and AdLib’s writings bring us a little closer to knowing what we must do get our country back. Here is a favorite from the Tao: “Only those who know when enough is enough can ever have enough.”

        I think we’ve had enough; Now it’s time to get to work.

        Aren’t we lucky to be in the company of such great thinking?


        • Yes indeed my friend. Actually I got the quote a bit wrong. It really goes like this…”Power does not corrupt men, fools however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.” G.B Shaw

          Love that line in the Tao about having enough. It is so simple but so very wise. What a world this would be if everyone thought this way.

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