After the filibuster by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) last week, senate Republicans relented and allowed a vote yesterday on two Democratic amendments. Those amendments would have added those on the terrorist watch list and on the no-fly list to be added to those who could not pass a background check to buy a gun, and would have closed the huge loopholes in the background check law. But that did not mean those Republicans had changed their minds.
They voted down both of those amendments on a party-line vote. That means about 40% of all gun sales each year in this country will continue to be done without a background check. It also means that any terrorist or criminal can legally buy any kind of weapon they want (including assault weapons) with having to submit to a background check (simply by going to a gun show, buying from a private individual, or buying through the internet). It also means the mass shootings will continue, and over 30,000 Americans will continue to die each year from being shot with a gun.
Two Republican amendments were also voted on, but couldn't pass the 60 vote requirement. That's good, because those amendments would have actually weakened the background check law by requiring a court to issue a probable cause finding to deny a gun purchase.
The Republicans like to mouth their concern over the mass shootings, and their desire to prevent terrorists from buying guns -- but their votes yesterday show just the opposite. They voted to continue allowing anyone to legally buy a gun, and to ignore the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans. They still believe that the profits of gun manufacturers are more important than the lives of their fellow citizens.