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18 April 2013
Just when it looked like there was a teeny sliver of light on the horizon. Just when a bipartisan group of Senators agreed to allow a vote on background checks for gun ownership to actually go forward. Just when the Sandy Hook families lobbied Senators, even admitting that the current legislation would not have changed what happened to their own children, but they wanted to do something to prevent other gun violence. Just when Gabby Gifford returned to Washington to be a visible symbol of what happens when someone who should have been prevented from having a gun gets a gun and goes crazy in a crowd. Just when 92% of the American citizens say they want something done. Just when it looked like maybe this teeny weeny step that would be a start at helping reduce the escalating madness in this country would actually pass, it all collapsed.
46 Senators, including four democrats -- Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota -- made certain that the motion was defeated.
(It is worth mentioning that Pryor, Baucus, and Begich are up for re-election in the next election cycle...vote the bums out!)
New York senator Kirstin Gillibrand said
People supporting today's bill are (some of them) gun owners and 2nd ammendment supporters and find nothing disturbing in merely expanding the rules from guns sold in stores to include guns sold at gun shows and over the internet. It doesn't even require that guns passed down from father to son (or other relative) be registered. It would seem that there was nothing at all offensive to either side of the gun debate. Years ago, even the president of the NRA was in favor of this law!
But no. I supposed the NRA felt that allowing this bill to pass would open the door to other more restrictive measures. Or was having Obama fail more important than protecting American citizens...and children...from harm?
The NRA released a statement immediately after the vote that said the measure would have "criminalized certain private transfers of firearms between honest citizens."
"Instead of supporting this compromise, the gun lobby and its
allies willfully lied about the bill. They claimed that it would create some sort of
big brother gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite. This
legislation, in fact, outlawed any registry. Plain and simple, right there in the text.
But that didn't matter," said President Obama.
So of course it's not worth even trying.
I'm so discouraged tonight. I had hoped the Senate vote would be one brief shining moment in a shitty week, but no, it's destined to be a universally shitty week. The local paper is all full of the murders in South Davis, the national news is all full of coverage of the Boston Marathon Massacre, and the internet is filled with hate speech against Muslims just...because.
And 46 Senators betrayed everyone in the country today.
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