Americans still do not have gun control legislation.
Polls indicate 90% of Americans favor some kind of gun control laws.
The bill voted on in the Senate Wednesday, a bipartisan effort spearheaded by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of WV and Republican Pat Toomey of PA, came up for a vote and was defeated.
54-46. (60 votes were needed for the bill to pass.)
The cowards in the Senate caved in to the NRA, other gun lobbyists, and their money magnates.
Four plucky Republicans resisted the pressure and voted for the bill: Sue Collins of Maine, Mark Kirk of Illinois, John McCain of Arizona, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. These Senators braved what will certainly be future retribution. They should be applauded and supported.
Five Democrats opposed the legislation, turning their backs on the majority of Americans: Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas. Dem. Senator Harry Reid voted against the measure for procedural reasons, allowing him to bring the bill before the Senate again in the future.
The nay-voting Senators caved in because they believe their careers are more important than the lives of innocent men, women, and children – many of whom, past or future, are probably their constituents.
They feared the wrath of the NRA and the organization’s very real threat of retaliation. Vast $$$ resources would be used against them, working to ensure their defeat in the next election. And so they surrendered. Self-interest won.
Public servants talk a lot about the will of the people.
On Wednesday 46 of our public servants failed their responsibility to carry out the will of the people.
The forces of the dark side (a.k.a. the NRA and followers) won the battle.
The history of our country can be written as a series of battles for the rights and the will of the people, for example:
· Slavery was abolished (the 13th amendment to the Constitution).
The right to vote. The 15th amendment prevents the federal or state governments from denying the right to vote to individuals based on “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Women received the right to vote (19th amendment). The 24th amendment prohibited denying people the right to vote for nonpayment of poll taxes. The 26th amendment lowered the voting age to 18. There are still people doing all they can to prevent every American citizen from exercising their right to vote. This battle continues…
Working for gun control and other issues past, present, and in the future, involves long, drawn out and on-going confrontations. Too often constituencies (represented by powerful lobbyists and their contributors) are only concerned with their own narrow interests, fighting long and hard to prevent change. And they prevail, but not forever.
The struggle for gun control measures safeguarding the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty, and pursuit of Happiness” for all Americans continues.