More Senators Voted To Loosen Gun Laws Than Tighten Them

If you look at the actual vote tally of the amendments the Senate considered yesterday, it wasn’t good news for gun control advocates:

Fifty-seven senators voted Wednesday to dramatically expand gun rights after the background check legislation was scuttled, a sign that even amid the most concerted gun control push in two decades, there remains more Senate support for loosening gun laws than tightening them.

The National Rifle Association-backed measure, brought by Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) as an amendment to gun legislation, would have made a concealed carry permit in one state valid in other states. In other words, if it passed, California would be forced to let someone carry a concealed weapon in public if they were permitted to do so, say, by the state of Kansas.

The bill failed as it was subject to a filibuster-proof 60 vote threshold, like all amendments. But thirteen Democrats joined all but one Republican (Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk) in voting for it. It received more votes than background check legislation, which would have modestly tightened the nation’s gun laws and managed to find 55 supporters.

(…)

Cornyn said his legislation was “designed to protect the fundamental Second Amendment rights of American citizens who are traveling or temporarily away from home while they hold a concealed handgun license.” He called it “background checks on steroids.”

Pro-gun proponents love the measure. Similar legislation was brought in 2009 by Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and received 58 votes. Democratic leaders worked hard to ensure its defeat this time around, worrying that its inclusion could poison and likely scuttle the final legislation.

Along with the Cornyn measure Wednesday, well over a majority of senators also voted for amendments offered by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) that contained provisions gun control advocates feared would weaken gun safety laws. By contrast, fewer than a majority of senators to ban assault weapons or restrict high-capacity ammunition clips.

This, combined with the factors I mentioned yesterday, is the main reason why something so seemingly popular as expanded background checks managed to go down to defeat.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Guns and Gun Control, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Septimius says:

    The National Rifle Association-backed measure, brought by Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) as an amendment to gun legislation, would have made a concealed carry permit in one state valid in other states. In other words, if it passed, California would be forced to let someone carry a concealed weapon in public if they were permitted to do so, say, by the state of Kansas.

    The bill failed as it was subject to a filibuster-proof 60 vote threshold, like all amendments. But thirteen Democrats joined all but one Republican (Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk) in voting for it. It received more votes than background check legislation, which would have modestly tightened the nation’s gun laws and managed to find 55 supporters.

    I’m certain everyone around here shares my OUTRAGE that an archane, undemocratic, unconsitutional Senate rule allows the minority to thwart legislation supported by 57 United States Senators.

  2. herddog505@yahoo.com says:

    Let me try to explain this to you:

    1. A reasonably large number of people – even those who don’t own guns, have never fired a gun, don’t want a gun – understand that these bills would have done nothing to stop what happened in Newtown where the lunatic STOLE the guns;

    2. I suggest that people, even those who might be favorably inclined towards “common sense” gun control measures, have little to no trust in the Congress to pass something that won’t be found to be full of holes or booby traps later (cf. Patriot Act; Obamacare). I point to the idiocy in NY, where they passed, with much fanfare, a gun control bill that (oops) didn’t exempt their own police departments and required people to buy magazines that don’t exist, leading to the greater idiocy of requiring people to PRETEND that their ten-round magazines only hold seven;

    3. The bill was oversold: when the pitch gets to be too intense, when the heart bleeds too much, when the appeal to emotion because blatantly obvious, people start to smell a rat: they understand that they are being conned or buffaloed. They tend to revolt against that;

    4. The NRA and gun owners were greatly energized to oppose not only what we see as a pretty obvious step towards a gun ban, but also a blatant exercize in blaming US for Newtown (and, now, Boston). If you want people to quietly go along with “common sense” measures, it’s not a good idea to make them out to be in favor of slaughtering children;

    5. People recognize that the entire premise of “gun control” is flawed. As we see in Britain, where guns are effectively banned, there is a tremendous rate of violent crime. Banning the weapon doesn’t stop the criminal. Further, we know from bitter experience that banning guns usually does nothing to stop crooks and loonies getting them (cf. Chicago, DC).

    Finally, I would say that we know what you people are up to. We’ve been fighting you gun grabbers since at least ’68. There’s no trick you can pull that we don’t know, no lie you can tell that we haven’t heard before. If you think that we’re going to lay down and let you turn us into criminals, you’ve got another think coming.

  3. al-Ameda says:

    315M people, over 300M guns – the conservative gun ownership position? Simple, we need more guns to be available to everyone. America is the most stupid advanced country in the world.

  4. wr says:

    And those 57 senators represented how much of the actual population? Maybe 20%?

  5. wr says:

    @herddog505@yahoo.com: “If you want people to quietly go along with “common sense” measures, it’s not a good idea to make them out to be in favor of slaughtering children;”

    If you don’t want people to make you out to be in favor of slaughtering children, maybe you should try not enabling child killers.

    But like all right wingers, you want it both ways — you want to make sure psychopaths have free access to the tools of murder, and you don’t want to be held accountable for your actions.

    You want people to admire you? Do something admirable. Or stop whining about how people are hurting your little feelings.

    Make a choice and live with the consequences.

  6. The National Rifle Association-backed measure, brought by Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) as an amendment to gun legislation, would have made a concealed carry permit in one state valid in other states. In other words, if it passed, California would be forced to let someone carry a concealed weapon in public if they were permitted to do so, say, by the state of Kansas.

    Nice to see that the GOP is supporting that Tenth Amendment (also Article I, Section 8).

  7. george says:

    @herddog505@yahoo.com:

    5. People recognize that the entire premise of “gun control” is flawed. As we see in Britain, where guns are effectively banned, there is a tremendous rate of violent crime. Banning the weapon doesn’t stop the criminal. Further, we know from bitter experience that banning guns usually does nothing to stop crooks and loonies getting them (cf. Chicago, DC).

    So, why are grenades, IED’s, and small thermonuclear devices illegal if banning weapons doesn’t make any difference?

    This argument is independent of the argument about rights – you’re basically saying making things illegal doesn’t stop their use (and things like prohibition and the war on drugs suggest you might have a decent argument). So is there any reason anyone shouldn’t be allowed to buy IED’s, grenades, mortars etc at the local hardware store?

  8. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: If you don’t want people to make you out to be in favor of slaughtering children, maybe you should try not enabling child killers.

    But like all right wingers, you want it both ways — you want to make sure psychopaths have free access to the tools of murder, and you don’t want to be held accountable for your actions.

    If you don’t want people to make you out to be in favor of slaughtering children, maybe you should try not enabling child killers.

    But like all left wingers, you want it both ways — you want to make sure psychopaths like Kermit Gosnell free access to the tools of murder, and you don’t want to be held accountable for your actions.

    Gosnell literally spent years doing his butchery, and was undiscovered because regulators didn’t inspect his facility for about two decades. And because the pro-choice supporters had those regulators so cowed, they didn’t do anything that might trigger a discussion on abortion.