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.
Instead, they voted to STOP A VOTE from happening. COWARDS THAT THEY ARE THEY DID NOT EVEN HAVE THE COURAGE TO LET A VOTE ON THE BILLS THEMSELVES TAKE PLACE.
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.