The Odd Politics Of The GOP’s Gun Control Filibuster

The GOP's decision to filibuster the Senate Gun Control Bill doesn't make a lot of political sense.

Capitol Building Daytime 1

As I’ve noted here over the past couple weeks, a substantial number of Republican Senators have announced their intention to filibuster the Senate Gun Control Bill when it comes to the floor later this month or, depending on Harry Reid’s decision making, next month. It started out being just Rand Paul and a few of his political allies such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, but it has now expanded rather dramatically. Last week, the number of Senators who said they were on board with the filibuster expanded to twelve, and yesterday Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced his  support for the filibuster while simultaneously signaling that he might be open to some deal making on the bill. Presumably, more Republicans than have publicly announced so far would support a filibuster, meaning that there would not be sufficient votes to overcome cloture and the bill would die without a vote on the merits. While there are some parliamentary maneuvers that Majority Leader Harry Reid can engage in to get around this, they would not preclude the possibility of another “talking filibuster” like the one that Rand Paul engaged over the nomination John Brennan to be CIA Director, and it would further through into doubt the possibility that any kind of legislation could get past the Senate.

Here’s the thing, though, when you really look at the situation on the ground, the idea of making a Senate filibuster of gun control legislation a hill for the GOP to die on doesn’t really make a lot of sense, and to understand why one need only look at the political reality of gun control in 2013.

To start with, it is blindingly obvious that the most stringent idea being pushed by Senate Democrats, an “Assault Weapons” ban similar to the one that was in effect from 1994 to 2004, is not going to happen. Last month, Harry Reid announced that the ban would not be part of the bill that will be presented on the Senate Floor,  largely because it was clear that there was no chance the ban would pass the Senate even on an up-or-down vote and attaching it to the overall bill would mean the entire bill would be dead. So, to the extent that the concern about any legislation that would come out of the Senate is that it would include a “gun ban,” that fear is no longer an issue. The AWB ban will be proposed by Senator Feinstein as an amendment to the Senate bill, and that amendment will be defeated just as Senator Reid intended.

That leaves the Senate bill with two main provisions left, limitations on the size of magazines and an expansion of the background check system to capture those transactions, such as private sales, that presently occur outside the system. As I’ve noted here before, both of those provisions are very  popular among the general public, however, it seems apparent that they only one that has a realistic chance of making it out of the Senate is the background check idea, the details of which are still being negotiated among a bipartisan group of Senators. If we end up with a situation where the Senate Gun Bill really just ends up being about background checks, which are supported by 91% of the American public according to a poll released last week, is the GOP really going to risk being seen as being obstructionist by preventing the bill from even making it to the floor for a vote? We’ve already seen evidence  over the past several years that the public sees the GOP as obstructionist, all this would do is provide more evidence for that argument.

The last piece of evidence that makes a GOP “all or nothing” approach to a filibuster of gun legislation in the Senate is the existence of the House of Representatives. No matter what happens in the Senate, any legislation will have to go through the Republican controlled House. Leaving aside the fact that it would likely never pass the Senate, there’s no way an “Assault Weapons” ban would ever pass the House. The same goes for magazine restrictions. As for background checks, what we’d likely see there are efforts by Republicans to place limits on any expansion of background checks to protect privacy and prevent the checks from being turned into a national database of some kind, concerns that even the ACLU have noted about the bill currently being considered in the Senate. All of this would be accomplished without the GOP having to expend serious political capital by engaging  in a filibuster against proposals that, according to all the polls, are immensely popular.

So, why are Republicans even thinking about doing this? Several reasons come to mind. First of all, there’s the old adage that every Senator thinks they should be President, and there is no shortage of Republican Senators who are being discussed as potential Presidential candidates in 2016, most notably Rand Paul and Marco Rubio. Taking a strong position on an issue like this goes a long way toward boosting their bona fides with the conservative base. Second, even Senators who aren’t running for President will see this as a way to curry favor with the base. Finally, for the most part the individual Senators engaging in this filibuster won’t suffer any adverse political consequences, even if it does end up damaging the GOP brand. Once again, the GOP appears to be missing the forest for the trees.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Guns and Gun Control, 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. legion says:

    If we end up with a situation where the Senate Gun Bill really just ends up being about background checks, which are supported by 91% of the American public according to a poll released last week, is the GOP really going to risk being seen as being obstructionist by preventing the bill from even making it to the floor for a vote?

    The key here – like so much of modern politics – is not reality, but perception. So long as the NRA and various gun lobbyists can keep the Red Base folk believing _any_ gun control legislation is some sort of “gun grab”, the GOP will block it no matter what the remaining 90%+ of the country wants. If Reid & the Dems can get a clear message out (which is historically the Dems’ biggest weak point), expect to see a lot of Paul’s colleagues jumping ship.

  2. Moosebreath says:

    Doug,

    EJ Dionne explains it to you. Key grafs:

    “Start with the weirdness within the gun lobby. Once upon a time, the NRA supported background checks for gun buyers. But the political far right is, among other things, a big business. The NRA’s chief concern is not sane public policy. Its imperative is to maintain market share within a segment of our country that views the federal government as a conspiracy against its liberties and President Obama as an alien force imposed upon them by voters who aren’t part of “the real America.” Within this market niche, background checks are but a first step toward gun confiscation.

    In a well-functioning democracy, the vast majority of politicians would dismiss such views as just plain kooky. But a substantial portion of the Republican Party’s core electorate is now influenced by both Obama hatred and the views of the ultra-right. Strange conspiracy theories are admitted to the mainstream conversation – and amplified by talk radio hosts and Fox News commentators.”

  3. David D. from Philly says:

    Doug, it;s not odd at all. Every officeholder is primarily (but not exclusively) motivated by his or her self-interest, not the interests of their party, Congress as an institution, or the nation as a whole. So you’re on track with your last paragraph, but it doesn’t require the consideration of presidential aspirations. Each of these Senators knows they will not be punished for taking this position and they might receive a great deal of financial support from both within and without their states. At the very least, this immunizes them from a primary challenge from the right based on the charge that they are insufficiently protective of freedom. They don’t care what 91% of the country wants, they only care what 51% of their voters want.

  4. stonetools says:

    The NRA is funneling so much money into the Senators’ pockets, they can’t hear what the people are saying.
    When it comes to guns, liberals focus on winning minds, not hearts. Conservatives do the opposite, wrapping their meager arguments in appeals to God, country, flag, paranoia , and the desire of men to feel manly by handling fearsome looking guns. Guess who’s winning?
    In the end, what liberals need aren’t better arguments. The argument for universal back ground checks is both rationally unimpeachable AND popular.
    What liberals need is an anti-NRA-an effective lobbying institution slavishly devoted to one cause, that will fund-raise and advocate for their side no matter what the “weather”. (Massacres, elections, studies, data-all that’s just “weather” to the NRA).
    Also too, we need more arguments that appeal to emotions. Let’s face it, logic doesn’t work in the face of “They’re coming to take away our God-given rights to all the guns we want!” Maybe we need to put up more ads with what people who are gun-shot ACTUALLY look like, rather than sanitized versions we see in Hollywood movies. A picture of a guy with his skull shattered by a bullet, a picture of a child shot in the stomach… those might go a lot further than arguments about the logic of universal background checks. Just sayin’.

  5. JKB says:

    @stonetools: Maybe we need to put up more ads with what people who are gun-shot ACTUALLY look like, rather than sanitized versions we see in Hollywood movies.

    You could do that. It would be African-Americans living in heavily gun-controlled urban areas shot by other African-Americans, most of whom have felony records, using stolen firearms. Or more recently, firearms obtained through the Obama gun export to Mexico program administered by the Department of Justice.

    So the question we should be asking is how can those non-criminal residents of these high gun crime areas protect themselves? When they are forcibly disarmed or must risk felony prosecution simply to have the means to stop imminent threats of death or serious bodily injury?

  6. JKB says:

    Some of these late comers to the filibuster are looking for cover for when they betray their constituents by voting for creeping restrictions. Won’t work. in 18 months those 90% who replied to a simplistic, poorly-considered question will not remember. But those who understand the implications and the process will remember and will vote.

    “When you clamp down where basically everything is restricted, it feels like you’re infringing on second amendment rights,” Shari Reilly explained.

  7. Rob in CT says:

    @JKB:

    using stolen firearms

    Stolen guns? Or guns sold to them by “law abiding” sellers who just plain don’t give a sh*t? Is there any actual data on this?

    We know where the shootings are happening. We know who is getting shot. The big question is how can we reduce the weaponry available to those doing the shooting, with as little bother to law-abiding citizenry as possible.

    You see this as simply a matter of arming more people. I see it as a matter of disarming people who should not have guns (e.g., felons buying guns or stealing them).

  8. Rob in CT says:

    Sorry about screwing up my tags.

    “When you clamp down where basically everything is restricted, it feels like you’re infringing on second amendment rights,” Shari Reilly explained.

    Well, as we all know, the most important thing is how it feels.

  9. Jack says:

    Unfortuantely even the “Universal Background Check” legislation, in it’s current form, effectively makes every transefer illegal without a background check. If I deploy, gotta transfer those guns to my wife or I’ll be arrested. Go to my cousins farm to shoot targets, can’t let my cousins use my guns or I’ll risk arrest. Just let a potential buyer hold and look at a gun I may sell, I better do a background check first or I’ll risk inprisonment. This is pure, unadulterated crap. If they merely legislate that all purchases must go through a FFL, then it may pass, otherwise continue to filibuster because this bill isn’t worth the paper it’s written on much less a vote.

  10. mantis says:

    @JKB:

    It would be African-Americans living in heavily gun-controlled urban areas shot by other African-Americans, most of whom have felony records, using stolen firearms.

    Most firearms used by criminals are not, in fact, stolen. They are purchased legally and sold to criminals.

    Or more recently, firearms obtained through the Obama gun export to Mexico program administered by the Department of Justice.

    You mean legal purchases of guns that the ATF monitored and then went into the hands of Mexican criminals? Our lack of useful restrictions on gun purchases and lack of federal felony laws forbidding straw purchasing are to thank for that. And by the way, it happens whether the ATF watches it or not.

    So the question we should be asking is how can those non-criminal residents of these high gun crime areas protect themselves?

    One way would be to have stricter gun laws that prevent some of the guns from ending up in the hands of gangmembers. If there are fewer guns in the hood, there will be fewer shootings in the hood.

    When they are forcibly disarmed or must risk felony prosecution simply to have the means to stop imminent threats of death or serious bodily injury?

    Will black helicopters do the forcible disarming, or UN stormtroopers?

  11. stonetools says:

    @JKB:

    You could do that. It would be African-Americans living in heavily gun-controlled urban areas shot by other African-Americans, most of whom have felony records, using stolen firearms

    You mean like this?

    A 6-year-old boy remains in serious condition this morning after being shot in the head by a 4-year-old last night, according to authorities.

    The 6-year-old was shot in the head with a .22-caliber rifle from 15 yards away, authorities said during a morning press conference at the Toms River Police Department headquarters.

    Everybody involved there fits the Nordic ideal you love. KagroX’s #GUNFAIL Twitter feed is filled with hundreds , if not thousands, of similar incidents involving people of all races. The 18,000 gun suicides also includes people of all races. I think we’ll be able to get plenty of gun shot pictures of people of all races.

  12. mantis says:

    @Jack:

    Unfortuantely even the “Universal Background Check” legislation, in it’s current form, effectively makes every transefer illegal without a background check.

    Which legislation are you referring to? The legislation being discussed now is still in negotiation, so I have no idea how you can make such claims.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB:

    You could do that. It would be African-Americans living in heavily gun-controlled urban areas shot by other African-Americans, most of whom have felony records, using stolen firearms.

    Jesus you are stupid. The murder I witnessed? A white man shooting his white wife then blowing his brains out. The buddy of mine who got stabbed in the heart? Yeah, you guessed it… white on white. Another guy I knew who was chased around a parking lot by an enraged husband with a shotgun? Do I need to say it?

    (@stonetools:

    A picture of a guy with his skull shattered by a bullet,

    Try this image stoner ;-), the guy who blew his brains out? As I walked by him to see about his wife, his brains were in the gutter of the street, almost entirely intact, and he was still breathing…. I can still hear the sound of his last few rattling breaths. I can also hear the screams of their children as they rounded the street corner and saw what had become of their lives.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jack:

    Unfortuantely even the “Universal Background Check” legislation, in it’s current form, effectively makes every transefer illegal without a background check. If I deploy, gotta transfer those guns to my wife or I’ll be arrested. Go to my cousins farm to shoot targets, can’t let my cousins use my guns or I’ll risk arrest. Just let a potential buyer hold and look at a gun I may sell, I better do a background check first or I’ll risk inprisonment. This is pure, unadulterated crap.

    Points for honesty Jack. Come back when you have a real argument.

  15. JKB says:

    @mantis:

    Jack,
    You see the legislation is being written in secret. We can’t KNOW what is in it until they pass it. Because that has worked out so well with Obamacare and in NYS.

    But the purpose is clear, to stop gun owners from introducing others to shooting sports.

    What they don’t comprehend is FFL holders know what constitutes a transfer. It is a defined legal term. They cannot even let their wife have the combination to their safe without prior legal documentation.

  16. anjin-san says:

    Shorter JKB – The problem is ni**ers, not guns.

  17. stonetools says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Try this image stoner ;-), the guy who blew his brains out? As I walked by him to see about his wife, his brains were in the gutter of the street, almost entirely intact, and he was still breathing…. I can still hear the sound of his last few rattling breaths. I can also hear the screams of their children as they rounded the street corner and saw what had become of their lives.

    Unfortunately, people don’t see that. In a Dirty Harry movie, they see someone get shot in the chest at close range with a .44 magnum, go flying though a plate glass window that shatters into pieces, and die instantly WITH NO BLOOD ANYWHERE.
    In Newtown the killer fired 154 bullets in five minutes, killing 26 people. He pumped 11 bullets into one first grader. If the crime scene photos were published and the Senators had to vote with blown up photos in the Senate, do you think there would be filibuster threats?

  18. mantis says:

    @JKB:

    You see the legislation is being written in secret.

    As opposed to all other legislation, which is written with live, real-time network news coverage, right?

    But the purpose is clear, to stop gun owners from introducing others to shooting sports.

    Actually, we will use mind-control rays for that.

    What they don’t comprehend is FFL holders know what constitutes a transfer. It is a defined legal term. They cannot even let their wife have the combination to their safe without prior legal documentation.

    According to what law?

  19. Jack says:

    @mantis: @mantis: You mean this??? http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113s374rs/pdf/BILLS-113s374rs.pdf. Schumer’s S. 374 does so much more. It requires background checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) via a federally licensed dealer, with some exceptions, for any transfer that “shall include a sale, gift, loan, return from pawn or consignment, or other disposition.”

  20. Jack says:

    @anjin-san: Just admit it. You and every leftist out there simply want to ban the civilian use and ownership of all guns. Well Mantis, come and get them. Not the .gov, you! That’s wjhat I thought PU@@y.

  21. Jack says:

    Uh oh, there’s been a multiple stabbing on a college campus in Texas. We better get all those knives off the streets! If it saves just one childs life….

  22. Jack says:

    @Jack: Background checks on all customers at Outback Steak House. Wouldn’t want one of those steak knives to fall into the wrong hands.

  23. mantis says:

    @Jack:

    You mean this??? http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113s374rs/pdf/BILLS-113s374rs.pdf. Schumer’s S. 374 does so much more.

    Yes, that bill is being completely reworked by the bipartisan group. The text you linked to is dead and will never reach the floor for a vote.

    Well Mantis, come and get them. Not the .gov, you! That’s wjhat I thought PU@@y.

    What’s a Puaay? Anyway, I’ll be right there. Go wait by the door.

  24. mantis says:

    @Jack:

    Uh oh, there’s been a multiple stabbing on a college campus in Texas. We better get all those knives off the streets! If it saves just one childs life….

    If the attacker had an AR-15, all of those knife injuries would be gun fatalities, plus more.

  25. anjin-san says:

    @ Jack

    anjin-san: Just admit it. You and every leftist out there simply want to ban the civilian use and ownership of all guns.

    I own several guns, have been shooting for over 40 years.

    Please up your game a bit, assuming you can…

  26. john personna says:

    @Jack:

    Texas? Kinves?

    In Texas state law it’s legal to carry single-edge knives, folder or fixed, at long as the blade less than 5.5 inches. Throwing knives, daggers and “bowie knives” are illegal regardless of length.

    Better learn your straw men before you try them.

  27. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    You’re a humorous guy,Jack . You should take your act on the road.
    So one crazy guy, murderous intent and a knife.. 14 injured, no fatalities (as yet).

    I’ll take that over 26 dead in 5 minutes with an assault weapon.

  28. Jack says:

    @john personna: Do you not understand ad absurdum? My point being, we should apply all of the stupid leftist arguements on gun control to knives.

  29. john personna says:

    @Jack:

    And I quote:

    Reductio ad absurdum is only valid when it builds on assertions which are actually present in the argument it is deconstructing, and not when it misrepresents them as a straw man.

    Suck it.

  30. Jack says:

    @stonetools: That’s the price we pay for freedom. Don’t like it… to Fing bad.

    My first post was concerning the current “Universal Background Check” bill, what was wrong with it, and what they needed to change to get it passed. As a result I was attacked by libtard assholes. Apparently anything more than “guns are bad, mmmmkay”, invites vitriol from the anti-gun libtards who post here.

  31. Jack says:

    @john personna: Kiss my ass.You are a complete douchebag.

  32. slimslowslider says:

    Hahahaha, you tell ’em Jack!

  33. anjin-san says:

    @ Jack

    Why don’t you go tell your mommy the other kids are being mean to you?

  34. john personna says:

    @Jack:

    I think the bit about having to “transfer” to your wife was pure fiction. Households are well established as having property in common. No gun bill will change that. Also, when you go shoot with friends I would not say that the guns ever left your legal possession.

    It is a different question what the law should say when you loan a friend a gun and send him on his way. What do you think should happen? If you loan a gun to someone who leaves your presence and then does murder … is that all on him or do you bear responsibility? Morally?

  35. Jack says:

    @john personna: But if it saves just one life, you shouldn’t be able to carry that knife. You should be disarmed by force by the US government and police/sheriffs of the state.

  36. john personna says:

    @Jack:

    You don’t lose well, do you?

  37. Jack says:

    @john personna: It’s all on him. Legally and morally. Even the full backgound check before I lend the gun wouldn’t change that.

  38. john personna says:

    @Jack:

    That is a straw man argument, especially relative to background check laws.

    A real parallel should be that if people can own swords, Bowie knives, and etc., then they should have background checks.

    We don’t do background checks on bb-guns do we? Paint ball? Nerf?

    Of course not. You are reaching down to the most harmless cutlery to make a straw man which has no parallel on the guns side.

  39. john personna says:

    @Jack:

    See, that’s not really a man’s answer.

    Imagine John Wayne or Chuck Norris .. a friend shows up and says “I need a gun!”

    Does he lend it without question? No. He has a higher sense of honor and responsibility than that.

    You need someone like Bruce Dern or Eli Walach to just hand out guns the consequences be damned. (Or Henry Fonda in specific Italian films.)

  40. mantis says:

    @john personna:

    See, that’s not really a man’s answer.

    He’s not really a man. He is obviously a disturbed child.

  41. Jack says:

    @john personna: And yet the UK, which to every liberal is the utopia of gun control is now limiting the type of knives that people may purchase http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1411652/posts. Doctors are calling on a ban of kitchen knives http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/4581871.stm. Forget about swords (over 50 cm), they are already illegal. This is what they would have us become.

  42. Jack says:

    @mantis: You are living proof that Jim Carey’s ass does talk.

  43. john personna says:

    @Jack:

    Hey I’m still stuck on Texas banning Bowie knives!

  44. john personna says:

    (BTW, OJ Simpson was a collector of long knives … just sayin’)

  45. Jack says:

    @john personna: You asked a straight question and I gave you a straight answer. Legally and morally the answer is no. I would have no culpability. You asked about loaning a fried a gun. Presumably I would already have a background on this friend and would know if he/she is able to own a weapon. What the person then does with the weapon is all on them.

  46. Jack says:

    @john personna: Actually I believe the ban is on carrying them. Not owning them.

  47. mantis says:

    Internet tough guys are so amusing.

  48. rudderpedals says:

    @Jack would have Stonetools believe 26 college kid bystanders dead in 5 minutes is the price of freedom but overlooks the life and freedom deprived to those buried in the ground.

  49. legion says:

    @Jack:

    My first post was concerning the current “Universal Background Check” bill, what was wrong with it, and what they needed to change to get it passed. As a result I was attacked by libtard assholes.

    So, you’re a liar, as well as an idiot and “brave guy on the internet”. Go read your own post – you flatly stated that was the bill’s text, with no implication whatsoever about “what they needed to change”.

  50. Jack says:

    @mantis: Are you describing youself? Pussy!

  51. legion says:

    @Jack:

    It’s all on him. Legally and morally. Even the full backgound check before I lend the gun wouldn’t change that.

    I’d feel pretty safe saying there’s not a DA anywhere in the country – not even in Texas – that would let you walk away from that.

  52. Jack says:

    @legion: I said this—

    If they merely legislate that all purchases must go through a FFL, then it may pass,

    . Is that not suggesting what they can do to get it passed? Apparently reading comprehension is not your strong suite.

  53. Jack says:

    @legion: You’re wrong. I have no legal culpability for lending a friend a gun which he/she then uses to commit a crime, no more than if I lend a car and he/she drives drunk and kills someone. No DA in the US would/could get a grand jury to believe I have any responsibility in these deaths.

  54. mantis says:

    @Jack:

    Are you describing youself? Pussy!

    Do you really find that childish schoolyard taunts are effective when arguing with people on the Internet, tough guy? I mean, I’m sure it works well when you and your friends are shotgunning 12-packs of Icehouse and sharing stories about the last time you felt up your sister, but something gets lost in translation to text. But don’t allow that to stop you. You are really hurting my feelings. No really, you are.

  55. legion says:

    @Jack:
    I have bad news for you, Jack.
    When You Let an Incompetent or Unfit Driver Use Your Car

    If you lend your car to an incompetent, reckless, or unfit driver, and that driver, through his or her negligent driving, causes a car accident, you will be liable for injuries and damage resulting from the accident. This is called negligent entrustment.

    In a negligent entrustment case, the plaintiff (the person bringing the law suit) must prove that the car owner knew, or should have known, that the driver was incompetent at the time that permission was given.

  56. Jack says:

    @mantis: Are you still talking asshole? All I’m seeing from you is oral diarrhea.

  57. legion says:

    @Jack:

    Is that not suggesting what they can do to get it passed? Apparently reading comprehension is not your strong suite.

    a) No, it’s not.
    b) My strong suite is the penthouse. My strong suit is a chocolate-brown pinstripe. My strange sweet is Morticia Addams. YMMV.

  58. john personna says:

    @Jack:

    Interesting because “drivers’ licenses” are already involved, to exclude the dangerous.

    I wonder what would happen if you loaned to someone without a license? Knowing that?

    And wouldn’t a “shooting license” accomplish the same thing with much less hassle? You apply for a shooting license before you buy, or borrow, a gun. They do a background check at that time. They don’t even need to track gun ownership. If someone is pulled over, and has a gun, the cop can just ask for the shooting license..

  59. john personna says:

    @legion:

    Ah yes, thanks.

  60. Jack says:

    @legion: Again, the hypothetical posed was a friend. I would know if a friend was able to own a gun just as I would know if a friend had a drivers license. Therefore, there would be no negligence on my part. Additionally, negligent entrustment is a tort, menaing a civil matter not a criminal matter so there would be no DA involvement. Finally, to be found negligent under this the plaintiff, must present evidence which creates a factual issue whether the Iknew, or had reasonable cause to know, that I was entrusting my car to an unfit driver likely to cause injury to others. Furthermore, in order to impose liability upon the me, the plaintiff must prove that the negligent entrustment of the motor vehicle to the tortfeasor was a proximate cause of the accident.

  61. Stonetools says:

    The good thing about Jack and JKB is that we can see just how threadbare these arguments against the bill are. No wonder the Senators don’t want a debate!
    As I’ve said, the “arguments” of the gun worshipers are purely about emotions. “They’re taking our freedom/rights/manhood”. We may not think much of those arguments but they work( witness Jack, JKB).
    We need some arguments with emotional punch of our own. It’s pretty clear that logic won’t work against a Jack or a JKB. I mean that in the kindest possible way. Apparently with enough exposure to Free Republic and NRA propoganda, the critical faculties atrophy and you pretty much have to give up on appeals to reason.

  62. Jack says:

    @legion: So you lose an arguement and now you’re the spelling nazi?

  63. legion says:

    @john personna: That’s also a very good point, and is basically what I’ve wanted for some years now. You could even co-opt the NRA into supporting it since they’d have an inside track to the cottage industry of “Shooting License Training Courses”, since they already provide those in much of the country…

  64. Jack says:

    @john personna: But I don’t need a drivers license to travel on private property. Additionally, we don’t license rights.

  65. Jack says:

    @Stonetools: I gave perfectly reasonable arguements. The want to turn everyone into criminals. They call it a “universal Background Check” bill but the make much, much more illegal under that law. Read the bill I posted from Schumer for yourself.

  66. Jack says:

    @Stonetools: I don’t care if 99.999% of the population agrees that the country should do X or Y. If it infringes on ANY Constitutional right, then it’s wrong, majority be damned.

  67. Jack says:

    Why don’t we just outlaw criminals? No, can’t do that. That might hold a person responsible for their actions and not society or an object. People might actually have to go to jail if we did that. No, let’s just keep up our emotional appeal for more and more gun control regardless of the number of gun laws that have already passed. It’s jsut a matter of time. We can just keep chipping away at the 2nd Amendment and sooner or later it will be dead law just like the 3rd Amendment.

  68. Matt says:

    @stonetools: Of course the gun owner won’t be prosecuted for breaking the law. So lets add more gun laws we won’t enforce..

  69. legion says:

    @Jack:

    Again, the hypothetical posed was a friend. I would know if a friend was able to own a gun just as I would know if a friend had a drivers license.

    Just as your previous statements, you make one overly-broad, incorrect statement, and then try to add all sorts of conditions and caveats in your defense.

    no more than if I lend a car and he/she drives drunk and kills someone.

    If you knew your friend was drunk, or likely to get drunk, you’re culpable. And while the exact quote I gave you was for negligent entrustment, I’m not willing to bet a DA wouldn’t haul my ass in as well. If you are, then by all means, hand your keys to your drinking buddies.

  70. legion says:

    @Jack:

    So you lose an arguement and now you’re the spelling nazi?

    No, you say something stupid and I make fun of you. Now it’s your turn.

  71. legion says:

    @Jack:

    I don’t care if 99.999% of the population agrees that the country should do X or Y. If it infringes on ANY Constitutional right, then it’s wrong, majority be damned.

    None of those words mean what you think they do. There is no such thing as a right that doesn’t have limitations. You have a right to Free Speech, but that’s limited (or “infringed” as you’d put it) by libel & slander laws. You have a right to vote, but if you commit a felony that right can, in some areas, be taken away altogether. You have a right to defend yourself and bear arms to do so, but you don’t have a right to any weapon you can afford. Get over it.

  72. legion says:

    @Jack:

    Why don’t we just outlaw criminals?

    That may be the stupidest thing written on the internet today. Congratulations.

  73. Matt says:

    I would also like to point out that the poll on background checks is meaningless. About as meaningless as the polls on Obamacare. Obamacare polled pretty badly but the individual components polled well for the most part. It’s easy to get high polls on something generic like “background checks” but once you have to actually produce details about how it’d work you will see changes in the polling.

  74. mantis says:

    @Jack:

    Why don’t we just outlaw criminals?

    The stupid, it burns.

  75. Jack says:

    @legion:

    You have a right to Free Speech, but that’s limited (or “infringed” as you’d put it) by libel & slander laws. You have a right to vote, but if you commit a felony that right can, in some areas, be taken away altogether. You have a right to defend yourself and bear arms to do so, but you don’t have a right to any weapon you can afford.

    Yes I have a right to libel or slander—asshole. See I did it, but it’s not libel or slander if it’s true so I digress. Once proven that I libeled or slandered then I can be held accountable. It’s called prior restraint. You cant muzzle all occupants of a movie theater to ensure no one flasely yells fire. You are right, once I have been convicted then rights can be taken away but what too many what to do is take away arms before a conviction. Finally, yes, I do have a right to buy whatever weapon (small arms) I can afford up to and including a fully automatic machine gun as long as I am not a prohibited person. I can even walk down main street with a operational flame thrower and break no laws.

  76. Rob in CT says:

    @Matt:

    That’s a fair point about poll questions.

    To the issue at hand: is it really your position that requiring background checks is unacceptable?

  77. Rob in CT says:

    I have to think anyone with a brain on the gun rights side of this reading this thread is thinking “oh man, why do we have to have Jack on our team?”

    I’ve had that experience before, and it’s not fun.

  78. anjin-san says:

    requiring background checks is unacceptable

    I think that’s it. We need to make sure criminals and the mentally ill have unfettered access to guns.

  79. Stonetools says:

    @Matt:

    Right. So Let’s get rid of laws against murder, rape and robbery, since only law abiding persons Will obey those laws anyway.
    Also, no need for traffic laws, since “Law abiding” drivers know how to drive so as not to cause accidents.
    Like I said, the gun worshiper arguments aren’t meant to appeal to the intellect.

  80. Stonetools says:

    @Rob in CT:
    I was going to point out the logical flaws in Jack’s free speech argument but seriously, why bother? If Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates came back from the dead and explained it to him with crayon, tracing paper and First grade English, he wouldn’t admit he was wrong.

  81. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack: do you holster your gun in tin foil wrapping?
    Actually, what we ‘leftists’ want to do is confiscate your steak knives.

  82. anjin-san says:

    Actually, what we ‘leftists’ want to do is confiscate your steak knives.

    I won’t be satisfied until we have the forks and spoons as well…

  83. Matt says:

    @Stonetools: You either have some sort of mental disorder or a learning disability. You’re not even responding to anything I typed..

  84. Matt says:

    @Rob in CT: I wouldn’t know as no one has actually bothered to outline how they would conduct such checks or create such a database.

    The link posted earlier is a mess..

  85. legion says:

    @Jack:

    Finally, yes, I do have a right to buy whatever weapon (small arms) I can afford up to and including a fully automatic machine gun as long as I am not a prohibited person.

    Did you not notice what you yourself just typed? Why are fully automatic weapons not sold to “prohibited persons”? How is that restriction so acceptable you don’t even notice writing it, but background checks aren’t?

    I can even walk down main street with a operational flame thrower and break no laws.

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha! I’d make the obvious rejoinder, but you’d simply reply that “clearly” you were referring to carrying a perfectly legal propane weed-burner rather than the military-grade version…

  86. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    I don’t care if 99.999% of the population agrees that the country should do X or Y. If it infringes on ANY Constitutional right, then it’s wrong, majority be damned.

    Well, it’s a compelling argument for gay marriage, I’ll give him that.

  87. Matt says:

    @legion: Last I checked it was perfectly legal to possess a military grade flame thrower.

  88. Matt says:

    @Rafer Janders: indeed

  89. rudderpedals says:

    @Matt: It doesn’t seem to take a lot of propellent to cast a backpack flamethrower as a WMD.

  90. Matt says:

    @rudderpedals: Well at the rate they are going with calling stuff WMDs I wouldn’t be surprised if they consider rifles WMD in the future. See the dude who is being prosecuted for using a WMD which was a simple RPG..

  91. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @stonetools:

    If the crime scene photos were published and the Senators had to vote with blown up photos in the Senate, do you think there would be filibuster threats?

    Here’s the deal: There will never be photos. None of them will ever look upon the detritus of their policies….

    I have lived it. They won’t. I can not forget the screams of four children who watched their parents’ lives ebb into the gutter’s of South St. Louis.

  92. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jack: Gawd… you are as dumb as a sack of hammers.

  93. legion says:

    @Matt: An admittedly small amount of Googling brings up a variety of regulations… largely broken down by county level, allowing the sheriff to license flamethrower use, but they’re often very specific about the use/purpose of such equipment – dealing with wasps & flora are the leading reasons to be allowed such gear. And I’m pretty sure that, in such jurisdictions, a military-grade unit simply wouldn’t have the precision or control necessary to be allowed. Even if you were licensed to own or use one, I still believe you’d find yourself the center of a significant SWAT response if you were to just walk down the street with one…

  94. matt says:

    @legion: That applies to about everything in general. Some places regulate sound systems or air guns or even loitering.

    There’s so many of those types of regulations that I’m sure you break the law on a daily basis without even realizing it.

  95. matt says:

    @Matt: Really I’m getting down votes because I point out that Stonetools isn’t even remotely responding to what I said?

    I stated that we need to start enforcing our current laws before adding more. If we start enforcing our current laws then we can see where we are and what needs tweaked. If we don’t start enforcing our current laws then adding more laws won’t suddenly result in more enforcement.

    Meanwhile Stonetools goes off on a rant about how we should abolish all laws or something. I’m not even sure what his point is or how it even remotely connects to my statement.

  96. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    As others have noted, the certainty of any gun control bill dying in the House is a given, so the GOP filibuster is rather meaningless.

    …And so, by logical extension, is the original bill. Why are the Democrats pushing so hard on a measure that everyone acknowledges will never become law? Why are they wasting so much time and energy on something that every single one of us knows will never pass?

  97. Pharoah Narim says:

    The bottom line is legislation has limits–some issues make sense to have a preventative thrust. Some don’t. In that case, you have the law for the purpose of severely punishing the person that breaks it and making it an example to others. I’m seeing alot of squirreliness in gun control advocates on this issue–when it’s pointed out that non of the measures being discussed would have had any affect on the most recent and pass mass shooting they say, “Oh this isn’t about mass shootings or preventing any specific incident”. Yet they appeal to the emotionalism of these same incidents as reasons to pass legislation. I’m sorry but no one should be able to have it both ways.

    We didn’t let the 911 families set or drive foreign policy–why should the Newtown families drive domestic policy? Experiencing a tragedy doesn’t and shouldn’t give anyone a louder voice in the debate than anyone else when it comes how we will govern ourselves. Sure, they have a right to be heard–but people are using them as pawns to drive their own personal crusades. Who the heck that has your best interest at heart would suggest you publish photos of the lowest event of your life for the sake of shaming some clown politicians who are going to do what their donors want anyway? That person more than likely doesn’t give a darn about you.

    I don’t see alot of utility in much more preventive measures before it starts looking like the silliness we have with drug regulations/prohibitions. They aren’t going to target the people we don’t want having guns. Someone will say–well lets not have rape laws then? Personal violence laws serve as a guideline for what we citizens expect from one another but obviously they don’t prevent those crimes, therefore their main purpose is to punish people after the fact hoping that punishment serves as a warning and reminder to others prone to committing such acts. We know who’s doing the lions share of the killing, criminals and the mentally ill (including crazed domestic partners in that as well), im all ears for hearing ideas on how we keep weapons out of THOSE people’s hands. What I’ve heard so far doesn’t make it pass 2 “how’s?”.

  98. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    …And so, by logical extension, is the original bill. Why are the Democrats pushing so hard on a measure that everyone acknowledges will never become law? Why are they wasting so much time and energy on something that every single one of us knows will never pass?

    Really? Seems that the same reasoning applies to the president submitting a budget: why would the Administration bother to submit a budget, when it knows that the virtually worthless greaseball House won’t have anything to do with it. We all know that.

  99. anjin-san says:

    Hey, Jenos is back! He looked like a track star fleeing the Kamala Harris thread…

  100. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Really? Seems that the same reasoning applies to the president submitting a budget: why would the Administration bother to submit a budget, when it knows that the virtually worthless greaseball House won’t have anything to do with it. We all know that.

    Here’s a hint: 31 U.S.C. 1105.

    There’s no federal statute that I’m aware of that requires the Senate to introduce a gun-control law. Perhaps you know of such a measure?

  101. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “Why are the Democrats pushing so hard on a measure that everyone acknowledges will never become law? Why are they wasting so much time and energy on something that every single one of us knows will never pass?”

    I’m sure you’ve denounced the House voting on 35 or so bills seeking to repeal Obamacare as well, right?

  102. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Is there a law that requires ANY senator to submit any legislation? Please, at least try harder.

  103. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: I see I’m going to have to spell it out for you. I’ll try to use small words.

    The initial discussion was about how pointless the GOP filibuster threat is. I noted that while that is true, it’s also true that the bill being threatened was equally pointless, for the same reasons — it will die if it ever reaches the House.

    Then you brought up the fact that Obama spent several years without bothering to propose a budget, and implied that his failure was justified because it wouldn’t get through the House in a recognizable form anyway. That was a flawed (and really stupid) analogy, because under federal law the president is required to submit a budget to Congress by the first Monday in February — a requirement Obama has failed four of five times since he took office.

    Is that clear, or do I need to break out the puppets and the funny voices for you?

  104. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    s that clear, or do I need to break out the puppets and the funny voices for you?

    Once again, for the English language impaired: I asked:

    Is there a law that requires ANY senator to submit any legislation?

    Nowhere did I mention PRESIDENT. You’re welcome.

  105. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: I apologize; I missed that question.

    I missed it because it was so effing stupid and irrelevant, my brain automatically blanked it out. You mentioned the president offering a budget, and — silly me — I thought you might actually stay on that topic. My bad.

    But to answer it now, no, there is no law that requires a senator to introduce any law.

    There’s also no law that requires wombats to look both ways before crossing jungle trails, no law requiring pharmacists to wear their watch on their right wrist, or laws requiring women’s blouses to button in reverse from men’s shirts. So there go your next three questions, too.

  106. matt bernius says:

    @matt:

    I stated that we need to start enforcing our current laws before adding more. If we start enforcing our current laws then we can see where we are and what needs tweaked. If we don’t start enforcing our current laws then adding more laws won’t suddenly result in more enforcement.

    I think this gets to the crux of a couple issues. First is that, to some degree, the NRA is correct in that, due to the local nature of gun regulation, our overall system of gun regulation is far to complex (too many laws and too many zones of regulation). But since no one seems comfortable with shifting from local to federal regulation, I don’t see this changing.

    What’s frustrating is that the same organizations who say we should just enforce what we have on the books, rather than adding new laws — i.e. the NRA — are the same ones working to weaken the existing laws.

    On the topic of stolen guns and gun crime, it’s difficult to get figures (in part due to reductions in funding for these sorts of studies). According to one ATF official, stolen guns only account for 10-15% of gun crime. However, since many gun crimes are never solved and in other cases the gun is never recovered, that percentage is probably a little low. Also, it should be noted that some lost or stolen handguns were in fact intentionally sold via straw transactions.

  107. Matt says:

    @matt bernius: I’m not the NRA…. I also wish they’d stop sending me letters begging for money..

  108. matt bernius says:

    @Matt:

    I’m not the NRA…. I also wish they’d stop sending me letters begging for money..

    To be clear, I wasn’t suggesting you were.

  109. wr says:

    @Matt: We know you’re not the NRA… we take it you’re offering us a public service by parrotting their talking points.

  110. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @matt bernius: You know what would be useful? A breakdown of gun crimes committed with stolen guns as a percentage of all gun crimes as well as solved gun crimes. A gun being stolen makes it a little harder to solve a case, as there’s no documented connection between the gun and the criminal. Kind of like using a stolen car for another crime.

    OK, maybe it wouldn’t be useful, but it would be interesting to know.

  111. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I’m sorry for your loss.

  112. matt bernius says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    A breakdown of gun crimes committed with stolen guns as a percentage of all gun crimes as well as solved gun crimes. A gun being stolen makes it a little harder to solve a case, as there’s no documented connection between the gun and the criminal.

    Actually, what would be useful is a breakdown of gun crimes along the following categories:

    1. Legally purchased guns
    2. Illegally purchased/traded/gifted from dealer
    3. Illegally purchased/traded/gifted from a straw dealer who had legally purchased a gun
    4. Purchased/traded/gifted from legal owner
    5. Purchased/traded/gifted from illegal gun owner
    6. Directly stolen
    7. Unknown source

    And then one would also need to look at those against, as you note, against the total number of gun crimes.

    Sadly, after a bunch of searching, I have yet to find any source of that data (I’ve yet to dig into the FBI, BoJ or ATF websites).

  113. matt bernius says:

    It should also be noted that our countries woefully inadequate tracking of guns — an intentionally archaic system — makes identifying the path that a gun takes from creation to crime rather difficult (especially if the paper records of the initial purchase were lost).

  114. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Your middle name must be “Non Sequitur.”

  115. Matt says:

    @wr: You’re not paying attention then and are instead relying on a caricature of me that you’ve conjured up…

    The NRA and I agree on very little at this point and I’m pretty sure the other Matt can confirm that.