Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 7:06 AM

Senate Rejects Even Watered-down Gun-Control Bill

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 7.05.36 AMHopes could not have been higher for passage of the Senate’s gun-control bill last week after Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania struck a compromise on background checks.

After all, Manchin and Toomey are de facto poster boys for the NRA – the gun-lobbying group most members of congress fear more than God … their constituents be damned. What’s more, virtually every pundit thought their compromise would give cover to political cowards on both sides of the aisle to do the right thing.

Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 7.14.56 PMBut my informed cynicism was such that I thought the Newtown parents and other advocates for gun control were just pinning forlorn hope on this compromise:

I find it so utterly stupefying that advocates for gun control have done virtually nothing to name and shame the NRA for having more interest in selling guns than in curbing gun violence. For example, their advocate in chief, President Obama, has been traveling all over the country arguing not for major measures like a ban on assault weapons and limit on high-capacity magazines, but for minor ones like universal background checks…

Even I did not think we’d be here, nearly four months after Newtown, facing the prospect of not having enough congressional support to pass even the universal background checks. Especially given that, according to a Quinnipiac poll published this week, 91 percent of the American people favor such checks…

Hell, at this rate, the NRA will soon be proselytizing such a mercenary interpretation of the Second Amendment that gun-loving Americans will be claiming the right not just to military-style assault weapons but to shoulder-fired missiles too.

Ultimately, all I can say is God help America when a president championing sensible gun control measures can be so clearly beaten by an interest group hell-bent on turning the nation into a circular firing squad.

(“This Gun-Control Debate Is Insane,” The iPINIONS Journal, April 5, 2013)

This is why it came as no surprise to me when the Senate voted against the Manchin-Toomey compromise yesterday – effectively killing all hopes of passing any form of gun-control legislation this year.

President Obama Speaks In The Rose Garden Of White HousePresident Obama was indignant:

There are no coherent arguments as to why we didn’t do this; it came down to politics. They caved to the pressure. And they started looking for an excuse — any excuse — to vote no…

So all in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington.

(Washington Post, April 17, 2013)

Sadly, Mr. President, this is not the first, and it won’t be the last, shameful day for Washington.

Related commentaries:
This gun-control debate

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