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Well the touted “compromise” of a gun reform bill has failed the Senate with 54 in favor and 46 in opposition. After months of attempted compromise, the failure of a renewal of the assault weapons ban and the final settling of a watered-down “universal background check” bill; the Republican Party (with some help from a few Democrats) have successfully killed the bill.
Now I’m going to try to aim this to people who do not follow politics as much as I do so you can get a firmer grasp on why the bill failed.
Cowardice is what defeated this bill today, the only winners today are not the politicians who voted for or against it but the National Rifle Association. The fear of the few Democrats (with the exception of Majority Leader Harry Reid who had to vote against the bill for procedural reasons) of losing their seats overcame the hope of a HUGE majority of Americans to enact background checks for people who wish to purchase a gun.
Cowardice shows why the Republican Party, with the exception of Susan Collins, Mark Kirk, John McCain and Pat Toomey, continues to ally itself with the NRA. The NRA, a glorified lobbyist group whose sole purpose is not to encourage gun safety but to drive up the sales of firearms by capitalizing on fear, did its job. Fellow Republicans knew that to vote against the NRA was to ensure a far-right wing primary challenger.
That’s why the ones who DID vote for it are ones who are in blue states in which the NRA has slim influence. Yes, Wayne LaPierre did his job even if his job is to accurately portray a paranoid American.
This bill was horrifically watered down but was still something. It would not create a gun registry or even take AR-15s off the shelves. All this bill would do is close a couple loopholes and run a simple background check on those who want to own a gun. All this stated is “Hmmm, this man has had some problems in his life with violence; maybe he should not have a gun”.
If you are a gun owner this was the bill for you. If you truly believe that “guns don’t kill people, people do” then the idea of background checks should be ideal for your beliefs. This won’t end any violence but it will at least hope to curtail some potential gun-toting peoplekillers from legally purchasing a rifle.
Yet it failed. Max Baucus, a Democrat who is up for re-election in Montana in 2014, stated this on why he voted against the bill: “loud and clear that they [Montanans] are overwhelmingly opposed to new gun control laws.”, even though the state’s other Senator (Jon Tester) had no problems voting for the bill’s passage.