The news has been heavily marinating in the media, so I’m sure you’ve seen it: the U.S. Senate voted down all four of the gun control measures they were asked to vote on.
The coverage has been predictable: Why won’t Congress do anything? Damn the NRA obstructing reasonable restrictions! Damn the Republicans for refusing to support legislation most of the country supports!
These criticisms mirror President Obama’s desperate plea earlier this year, when he asked: “What if Congress did something — anything — to protect our kids from gun violence?” But next time you hear a liberal berate Republicans and the NRA for obstructing reasonable gun control legislation, ask them this:
Why did the Democrats vote against gun control bills too?
That’s right – the media aren’t rushing to mention that facet of the story (try to find it clearly stated in this New York Times piece), but two of the four gun control bills were actually sponsored by Republicans and torpedoed down by Democrats.
One bill, sponsored by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), would have strengthened the national background check system, encouraging states to send more updated information to the FBI. Almost every Republican supported it; nearly every Democrat voted against it and it failed to pass the 60-vote threshold, 53-47.
Another bill, sponsored by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), would have given the attorney general the power to potentially block someone on the terrorist watch list from buying a gun. Even the NRA supported this bill. Almost every Republican supported it; nearly every Democrat voted against it and it again failed to pass the 60-vote threshold, 53-47.
So here we have two Republican-backed gun control bills which, while not perfect, do “something.” But Democrats nearly unanimously voted them both down.
Why would that be? Here’s the real motivation behind all of the Democrats’ rhetoric, and why I have a hard time taking their gun control stance seriously:
Democrats made it clear they want to make it as painful for Republicans to oppose their gun amendments, whether through a flood of advocacy calls to their Senate offices or at the ballot box in November.
“Some of this is going to turn into an electoral operation,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who led the Senate Democrats’ nearly 15-hour gun filibuster last week, said an interview Monday.
Either the evil NRA has gotten its hands into the Democrats’ pockets, or the Democratic Party is more concerned about scoring political points and cheap theatrics then actually solving the problem they like to campaign on.
“Sadly, our efforts are blocked by the Republican Congress, who take their marching orders from the National Rifle Association,” Senator Harry Reid said after the votes.
But who are the Democrats taking their marching orders from, Harry?
Democrats want Congress to do “something,” unless that something gets in the way of winning in November. How’s that for sincerity?