Friday, June 17, 2016
Will The GOP Protect The Right Of Terrorists To Buy Guns ?
The photo above is of Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) as he pulled off a real filibuster in the Senate. He did it when it became obvious that the Republicans were going to do nothing in the wake of the Orlando shooting (other than offer pious words, prayers, and moments of silence). They were going to ignore the needed changes to our gun laws -- just like they did after Aurora, Newtown, San Bernardino, and other tragic mass shootings.
The GOP inaction was too much for Murphy to endure, so he held a surprise filibuster -- holding the floor and talking for about 15 hours (without sitting down or taking a bathroom break). He made it clear that he would do his best to block the Senate from doing anything until they addressed the gun issue. He did have a some help from most of his Democratic colleagues (and even a couple of Republicans in tight re-election races this year). They all asked extremely long-winded questions to give Murphy a break from having to talk. Murphy's biggest supporter in the filibuster was Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), who also stood the entire time the filibuster was happening and stayed on the Senate floor.
While the filibuster was happening, Senator Cornyn (R-Texas) tried to work out a compromise with the Democrats -- a compromise that would outlaw those on a terrorist watch list from buying a gun, but would not plug the loopholes in the background check law. In other words, any terrorist (or criminal) could still buy a gun from an individual, a gun show, or on the internet without going through any kind of background check. That's not a solution -- it's just political posturing.
Murphy ended his filibuster about 2am Thursday morning, after being told the Senate would vote on his (and Senator Feinstein's) amendments -- the two amendments that would keep anyone on a terrorist watch list (or a "no fly" list) from buying a gun, and would close the loopholes in the background check law. That sounded like victory. The Republicans would be forced to hold a public vote on these issues -- with an election coming up.
But it now looks like the GOP has found a way to weasel out. They will be having votes on four amendments -- the two Democratic amendments, and two Republican amendments (which would probably sound like the Democratic amendments while ripping the heart out of them).
I doubt that any of the amendments will be passed, but if any are, it will be the worthless GOP amendments. The Republicans don't want anything to change. They, and their buddies at the NRA, like the idea that terrorists and criminals can legally buy any kind of gun they want -- and they will act to protect the profit margins of gun manufacturers, regardless of how many innocent Americans that kills.