WASHINGTON – Members of the U.S. Senate yesterday successfully shot down every single piece of gun control legislation brought up for a vote, explaining that while they understand the popularity and importance of the issue, they knew an upcoming massacre or shooting would give them another chance to ignore the issue in the near future.
“People need to just calm down and relax,” said Texas Republican John Cornyn, who joined with 45 of his fellow senators to filibuster legislation that would have expanded background checks to ensure that guns were not sold to convicted criminals or the mentally ill. “Gun massacres aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, we made sure of that today. So they’ll be plenty of opportunities for us to keep doing the wrong thing.”
The amendment, which according to a recent Washington Post poll was favored by 86% of America, was actually approved by a majority of Senators and ‘passed’ 54-46, but because of the need to reach a 60-vote super-majority to break a filibuster, it was gunned down on the floor of the Senate.
Other amendments which were tragically riddled with no votes included:
-A bill that would have provided more money for school safety and mental health and stepped up prosecutions for felons who try to acquire guns. (52-48)
-An amendment that would have imposed tougher penalties on gun trafficking and for those who buy guns for people barred from purchasing guns. (58-42)
-An amendment to federalize concealed-carry permits so that someone with a permit from a state where it is very easy to get one couldn’t bring their concealed gun into a state where they would have been unable to get a permit. (57-43)
California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein’s proposal to ban assault weapons and limit the capacity of gun magazines to only 10 rounds bucked the trend of receiving a majority of yes votes but being stopped by the filibuster rule when it was blown away by a 40-60 vote.
“It would have been easy to just give in to popular opinion and do the sensible thing to reduce gun violence,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). “But America is about protecting the rights of the little guy against the bullying tactics of a majority. If we didn’t stand up for the rights of convicted criminals or the mentally ill to purchase assault weapons anonymously over the Internet that were capable of firing 100 rounds at a time who would?”
Democratic Senator Max Baucus of Montana, one of four Democrats who joined with the majority of Republicans to block passage of the amendment to extend background checks (a fifth Democrat, Majority Leader Harry Reid, voted against the amendment for procedural reasons so he can bring the proposal up again in the future) assured his constituents that their outcry for common sense legislation on gun control has not fallen on deaf ears.
“After the horrible tragedy in Newtown, CT, the American People demanded action,” he said. “Today, we gave them action through our inaction. And our inaction will go a long way towards assuring that those poor children will not have died alone, which will in turn raise the call for action. And we will hear that future call for action with heavy hearts, and will react with decisive inaction yet again.”