Filibuster ends; now, let’s go on the record on guns

Chris Murphy has declared a form of victory in his effort to enact gun-control legislation.

The junior U.S. senator from Connecticut, though, likely won’t be able to win the proverbial “war” against his colleagues who oppose him.

He spoke for 15 hours on the floor of the Senate, ending his filibuster at 2 a.m. As he yielded the floor to Republicans, he said he received assurance that the Senate will vote on whether to approve expanded background checks and to ban gun sales to suspected terrorists.

I will concede that the background check idea is a bit problematical for the Democratic senator. Opponents of expanding those checks contend that those who buy guns already are subjected to them.

It’s the other one, the terrorist element, that puzzles me.

Congressional Republicans so far have opposed the ban on gun sales to individuals on federal no-fly lists. That’s right. Someone who isn’t allowed to board a commercial airliner because of suspected terrorist affiliation can purchase a gun. Wow, man.

Murphy was moved, obviously, by the slaughter in Orlando, Fla., this past weekend — and by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School four years ago in his home state of Connecticut.

I own two weapons. I understand what the Second Amendment says — I think. I hesitate only because, in my view, the Founders wrote it badly.

Sen. Murphy’s filibuster is supposed to lead now to a Senate vote on these two critical issues: background checks and no-fly list bans.

He isn’t likely to win the day on these votes, given that the Senate is controlled by Republicans who, in turn, appear to be controlled by the gun lobby.

President Barack Obama acknowledged the other day that these measures won’t stop all future acts of gun violence. They might prevent some of them. Isn’t there some value in that?

Let’s put all senators on the record. Do you favor these measures that, in my view, retain the Second Amendment right to gun ownership, or do you oppose them?

3 thoughts on “Filibuster ends; now, let’s go on the record on guns”

  1. I very curious what you think the Second Amendment says. Since 2004, I’ve never seen you take a stance in favor of anyone’s right to own or carry a weapon. Just what right does the 2nd Amendment grant to people?

  2. I have struggled with what the 2nd Amendment says. I’ve noted before that I believe the text is written poorly. The references to “well-regulated militia” and the right to “keep and bear arms” seem to be at odds. I’ve decided over the years that Americans have the right to own firearms, which is what the courts have decided. I once opposed concealed carry. Indeed, the newspaper, the G-N, opposed it initially, too. I’ve since concluded my initial fears about concealed carry were unfounded. I haven’t exactly embraced the idea of packing heat, but I have accepted it as law. Although I support the right to keep and bear arms, I also favor some restrictions as long as they are consistent with the amendment. I’ve long believed there is far more room for that than the NRA and other gun-rights groups have said. And I do not believe we should follow the Australia model and confiscate everyone’s guns. I’ve got two of ’em. They’re hidden.

    There. That’s what I believe.

    1. I ask because it goes toward your motivations. You say you grudgingly (my word but I think it fair) accept concealed carry as law, yet you show no consistent argument other setting up barriers to carry. Churches, they’re a place of peace where no guns should be needed. Bars, roudy places with drinking and fighting and guns would only escalate tensions. Two diametrically opposed arguments with nothing in common other than excluding weapons from more and more places. Wouldn’t everyplace else fall somewhere in between? Is there anywhere you consider concealed at least acceptable? WalMart? Starbucks? Parks? … Schools?
      I’ve always seen parallels between the gun debate and abortion debate. They’re both very similar (other than the fact I can find the right to a firearm in the Constitution). On the anti-abortion side, there are people who accept that Roe is the law of the land but then proceed to set up every obstacle they can to make the process difficult and expensive enough to discourage abortion. You’ve begun calling these people anti-choice and common ground can’t be found because their goal is abolishing abortion.
      You’ve supported every idea out there to make carrying a handgun more difficult requiring people to continually remove their handgun from their person and leave it in a less-than-secure auto — eventually inconveniencing and discouraging everyday concealed carry. You can have the right to carry, as long as you can’t actually do it.
      This is the reason I’ve openly theorized you oppose the Second Amendment, whether or not you’ve got a 40-year-old .22 and an inherited hunting rifle safely locked away out of sight and out of mind and unfired for years (decades?). Opposing the efficient carrying (or bearing) of a weapon is opposing the Second Amendment — the Second Amendment I read.
      I guess I could be wrong. Maybe you’ll join me at the range for some plinking with your well-used Glock 34 and your Remington 700 SPS Tactical. We could go rally against the 9th-Circuit Court’s opinion last week together.

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