John McCain Doesn't "Understand" Why Paul, Cruz Would Filibuster Gun Control Legislation

Katie Pavlich

4/8/2013 7:32:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

Arizona Senator John McCain apparently didn't think calling Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz "whacko birds" was enough. Over the weekend McCain said he just doesn't "understand" why GOP Senators would filibuster any type of gun control legislation, saying the Senate should at least have debate on the issue.

"I don't understand it," the Arizona Republican said on Sunday of the threat coming from Sen. Rand Paul,Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Mike Lee and nine other Republicans. "The purpose of the United States Senate is to debate and to vote and to let the people know where we stand.”

"What are we afraid of? ... If this issue is as important as we all think it is, why not take ... it up and debate?" McCain said on CBS's "Face the Nation." “Everybody wants the same goal to keep the guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally disabled."

At this point, Senators Paul, Cruz, Rubio, Lee and Johnson have said they will filibuster gun control legislation brought to the floor by Majority Leader Harry Reid. Last week in an op-ed for Townhall, Rubio explained his firm stance against any new gun control measures.

As Congress prepares to consider new gun control legislation, I stand firmly against any attempt to restrict the constitutional rights of responsible, law-abiding gun owners. As a concealed weapons permit holder, I value the freedom to exercise my Second Amendment right as protected by the Constitution and in accordance with gun laws designed to promote safe, responsible use. The right to bear arms is a unique and fundamental aspect of American liberty because, when exercised responsibly and in accordance with the laws in place, it makes our families and our property safer.

Last week, I announced I would join efforts to filibuster any gun control proposals that seek to restrict the rights of Americans who have never violated the law. Many Floridians, including our large number of hunters and sportsmen, use guns regularly and responsibly and do not deserve to be harassed or further regulated. Especially in light of recent shootings, safety is everyone’s priority. But the way to increase safety is not to take away the rights of responsible gun owners, including those wishing to protect themselves and their loved ones. Instead, by ensuring that those who obey the law can remain the first line of defense against violence, America will become better equipped to handle potential tragedies as they arise.

Current gun control proposals being discussed by Washington Democrats – by the admission of their own authors – would not have stopped the tragedies in Newtown or Aurora. The perpetrators of these actions were mentally disturbed monsters with a complete lack of interest in laws or ethics. For this reason, any effective plan to deal with future violence must focus on addressing mental illness and identifying those Americans who should be forbidden to own guns.

You can read the entire op-ed here.