Gun control has been on the back burner for Democrats since a Clinton-era crackdown played into Democrats losing control of Congress in the 1994 midterms. But when the Newtown shooting happened, the opportunists on the left thought they had an opening.
Today that theory got put to a test, and it flopped. Big time. Despite Newtown being fresh in the minds of Senators, and America in general, and despite pleas from President Obama and former Congresswoman Gabbie Giffords (who herself was the victim of a shooting in Newtown) Democrats couldn’t scrounge the votes to expand background checks for gun purchases to gun shows and internet purchases:
The Senate on Wednesday failed to advance a bipartisan background check proposal that Democrats had hoped would be the core of any bill.
The background check legislation, championed by Democrat Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Republican Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, received only 54 votes, six short of the 60 needed to clear a threatened filibuster. In the 24 hours leading up to the vote, President Barack Obama and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., along with her husband, Mark Kelly, had personally lobbied on-the-fence senators or those who had declared themselves as “no” votes. But those efforts failed.
The Senate vote record isn’t online just yet, but both North Dakota Senators Hoeven and Heitkamp voted “no” on the bill as expected.
This speaks volumes about the nation’s appetite for gun control. The anti-gun activists can huff and puff, the left-slanted media can hype and sensationalize, but at the end of the day Americans really don’t see a need for further restrictions on gun control. And, it seems, enough Senators understand that to keep this legislation from passing.
And you really have to wonder if the 2014 midterms are, 20 years later, going to play out like the 1994 midterms with the Dems’ gun-grabbing efforts coming back to bite them at the polls.