Polls indicate that 80% to 90% of Americans support expanded background checks for firearms sales, but on Wednesday such a plan could not get 60 votes in the
Somehow, it did not feel like Round 1; it felt like a knockout punch. If a limited proposal to require background checks at gun shows cannot hit the 60-vote threshold that would circumvent a filibuster in the Democrat-controlled Senate, it is a sure bet nothing close to that will see the light of day in the Republican-dominated
The nation has just gone through two years of unusually awful slaughter that began with the near-fatal shooting of Rep.
Pryor, Begich and Baucus did the political calculus. They could have voted for the background checks and maybe helped get it passed by the Senate. But the votes are not there to get the measure through the House, so they would have gotten themselves on the NRA hit list for nothing. If that led to their defeat in 2014, Republicans would almost certainly take over the Senate. What hope would there be for rational gun laws then?
So it is understandable why those rural Democratic senators voted they way they did, though it was hardly a proud display of political courage.
The day may yet come when members of Congress will feel the heat from the other side of the argument. New York