Gun Debate Moving Forward: Filibuster Fails

Heather Ginsberg

4/11/2013 11:55:00 AM - Heather Ginsberg

The legislation to curb gun violence is now heading to the floor of the Senate for debate after there was a lot of talk of a potential filibuster from GOP senators. The Senate voted 68 to 31 to proceed with debate on the new legislation. This will be the beginning of what many believe will be a several week argument of what kind of action to take on gun control.

Sixteen Republicans joined with 52 Democrats to approve the motion to proceed to debate. And only two Democrats joined 29 Republicans opposing the motion.

“This bill won’t stop every madman determined to take innocent lives. Nor is this bill the only suggestion to prevent gun violence,” Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday morning.

“There are powerful feelings about each of these proposals — both strong support and strong opposition,” he added. “But whichever side you are on, we ought to be able to agree to engage in a thoughtful debate about these measures.”

Several Republicans said early Thursday that they would vote against proceeding with debate on the bill.

“The government should not punish or harass law-abiding citizens in the exercise of their Second Amendment rights,” Senate Minority Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.

The legislation under consideration, “has that focus backwards,” McConnell added.

Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), the second-ranking Senate Republican, called the bill under consideration “a symbolic gesture” and said Congress should focus more on bolstering federal funding for mental-health programs: “We need to make sure that the mentally ill are getting the help they need, not guns.”

In a formal statement of support, the White House said Thursday that the bill contains “common-sense solutions that in no way infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners and that have the strong support of the American people.”

Although the filibuster was denied, we remain hopeful that the 2nd amendment will be protected by our elected officials. Stay tuned for what happens next with this new gun bill.