Don’t expect any realistically workable assault weapons ban legislation to get off of the floor of the Senate anytime soon. There is simply, despite the clarion call by the bulk of the American people for sensible legislation in this area, not enough support from the Senate Democrats in order to pull that off. Mark Begich, Kay Hagan, and several other Senate Democrats are in the process of starting up their 2014 re-election campaigns, and as we all know in the age of the perpetual campaign that is an important element. And since a number of them live in red states, their votes simply cannot be counted on to be there to vote for the assault weapons ban.
There is much more to the Democratic Senators not backing the assault weapons ban than the perpetual election cycle. Some of these people genuinely dislike the thought of an assault weapons ban. A few examples would be Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester, and Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor.
Mark Pryor gets a D from the NRA, but a closer look at his stances reveals a man who is pro-gun in a great many ways, from voting to prohibit lawsuits against gun manufacturers to voting yes on prohibiting aid to organizations and entities that require the registration of , or taxes guns owned by American citizens. I cannot find any real serious attempt on Sen. Pryor’s part to in any way vote against the gun lobby in any way whatsoever.
Max Baucus a number of years ago voted for loosening gun licensing restrictions at gun shows, and has stated that he is for repealing federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns. Jon Tester has much the same record as his two compatriots, and on top of that voted to ban gun restrictions in Washington DC.
On top of these three senators, there are the several other democrats in the Senate who are similar in their voting records. Which points as far as I can see it to a large Democratic roadblock to any assault weapons ban.
Everywhere I have looked on the Internet, and I have looked in a great number of places, I cannot find a single article that points to any realistic possibility of there even being a Democratic majority in the Senate. And if there is no possibility there, then there isn’t a snowballs chance in hell of there being enough votes to get past the now obligatory cloture vote that the senate now has to go through.
From this vantage point, and frankly from any realistic vantage point in the story of the assault weapons ban, there is only one salient point to drive home; it is done. It cannot pass. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t. But sadly, the NRA has won another round against people who want nothing more than to live their lives in peace. It is sad to think that the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness have been overridden by lobbyists working for gun manufacturers.
Sad but true.
(Minor edit, 2/24/13 11:30 pm edt)