I honestly have no clue what Senate Democrats were smoking when they decided to hold these pro-gun control amendments that were doomed to fail from the outset. There was no way Senate Republicans were going to get onboard to expand background checks and incorporate secretive government lists that lack due process into the National Criminal Background Check System. Nothing was going to happen. Period. And Republican leadership knew that, which is probably why they so willingly allowed Senate Democrats to offer their little amendments that wouldn’t have stopped this horrific shooting in the first place.
So, after Sen. Chris Murphy’s (D-CT) 15-hour filibuster that held up a spending bill for the Justice Department, they decided to go after two things that’s the main course for the anti-gun Left—and failed (again). Yet, Senate Democrats must’ve known the end result as well. They’re not that thick. After every pro-gun control amendment was rejected, they went on to participate in their favorite blood sport: bashing the National Rifle Association. This exercise was nothing more than to create an opportunity to broadside one of the oldest civil rights organizations in the country.
“I'm mortified by today's vote, but I'm not surprised by it. We learned in the months after Sandy Hook that the NRA has a vice-like grip on this place,” said Sen. Murphy. Prior to the votes, he said that Republicans might as well be selling weapons to ISIS (via WaPo):
“We’ve got to make this clear, constant case that Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS,” Murphy said, using an alternative term for the Islamic State militant group. “That’s what they’ve decided to do. ISIS has decided that the assault weapon is the new airplane, and Republicans, in refusing to close the terror gap, refusing to pass bans on assault weapons, are allowing these weapons to get in the hands of potential lone-wolf attackers. We’ve got to make this connection and make it in very stark terms.”
Murphy made his comments just hours before the Senate was set to vote on four gun-related amendments to a pending appropriations bill — two proposed by Democrats, two proposed by Republicans — that were negotiated to resolve the Democratic filibuster.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren reiterated this point after the amendments were shut down. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said he was "angry" and "frustrated." Yet, Democrats painting Republicans as gunrunners for terrorists because they support the Bill of Rights—is this the real world? Of course, they don’t. Also, no one is for giving terrorist access to firearms. That's ridiculous. It’s an avalanche of hyperbole that will yield nothing in the end.
NJ Sen Booker after gun votes: What happened today is so troubling and disturbing..I am angry, frustrated— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) June 20, 2016
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said how yesterday's votes reminded him of when someone yelled, “shame on you” three years ago when the Senate failed to do anything after Newtown. It must’ve been even more embarrassing when you consider that it was a Democratic-controlled Senate. At the time, the Senate was making maneuvers on a bill that would’ve expanded background checks (Manchin-Toomey), but even Blumenthal said this legislation wouldn't have prevented Newtown. Like last night, the motion failed.
Blumenthal said that Republicans have to look at themselves in the mirror and into the eyes of their constituents. He added that the "political dynamic of the nation has changed" since Sandy Hook; it hasn't. Most Republicans agree that terrorists shouldn’t have guns, but in no way, shape, or form are they going to support more gun control, especially a new ban on so-called assault weapons. The Acela Corridor isn’t the best representation of America. Most Americans agree that guns can prevent crime. Support for gun rights remains high - even younger voters show a healthy level of support for Second Amendment rights.
Yet, this battle isn’t over. Democrats could very well get their way on guns if Clinton wins the presidency and Republicans lose control of the Senate. This is one of many salvos aimed to softening the defensive wall the Left views is propped up by the NRA; that wall being the Republican majority. Nevertheless, if you're an anti-gun Democrat, Murphy's amendments burning to ash, which leads to a period of venting post-defeat, with other liberals unifying to slam the NRA. Sounds like a good day for the Left.
Luckily, the NRA knows this game—and they’re better at it than the anti-gun Left. They’ve been around for 145 years. They’re not going anywhere. The NRA will out-organize, outperform, and out-smart any liberal strategy on this front because they’ve seen them all. Right now, the GOP being pro-terrorist gun peddlers attack is probably the most absurd. If Democrats want to walk into the meat grinder on this, I won’t stop them. But stop the charade that this was done for public safety, or for the families. It was obviously done to increase the chances of a Democratic takeover in the Senate, bash the Second Amendment, Republicans, the NRA, and create some nice fundraising fodder for 2016.
The Democratic Party was hoping that enough members of the Republican majority would side with them…on gun control? Are we on bath salts? Most pro-Second Amendment voters can see through the insincerity and a quick Google search on Democratic policies on guns show that they're only interested in curbing Second Amendment rights by expanding government power. For heaven’s sake they want to use terror watch lists that lack due process to strip Americans of their gun rights. How is that not the ultimate act of an overreaching government?
Oh, and just so we're clear, Republicans did support an amendment by Sen. Jon Cornyn (R-TX) that would require law enforcement to be alerted of any gun purchase from a person on the terror watch list, and would empower the attorney general to block the transfer for three days pending a review. I don't know what's so controversial about that, but Democrats didn't like it.