I’ve been watching over the course of the last day as the fallout from the Senate’s vote on the “no fly no buy” gun control proposals has started to appear. The Democrats are out in force claiming that the failure to pass anything is solely the fault of NRA influenced Republicans, going so far as to state that “Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS.” That’s a convenient narrative, but it doesn’t really hold water. The real reason why nothing passed the other day is because the Democrats voted against their own common sense gun control proposal.
There were four proposals up for vote on Monday, including Senate Amendment 4749. That amendment, which was sponsored by Republicans and backed by the NRA, would have done exactly what the Democrats have been demanding for months: make it impossible for terrorists on the “terrorist watchlist” to purchase a firearm. Don’t take my word for it — read the raw text of the amendment for yourself.
[T]he Attorney General may delay the transfer of the firearm or explosive for a period not to exceed 3 business days and file an emergency petition in a court of competent jurisdiction to prevent the transfer of the firearm or explosive, and such emergency petition and subsequent hearing shall receive the highest possible priority on the docket of the court of competent jurisdiction and be subject to the Classified Information Procedures Act (18 U.S.C. App.);
That’s exactly what the Democrats wanted, right? A law which would immediately prohibit known terrorists from purchasing firearms, and give the Attorney General discretion in who qualifies as a terrorist. The sole difference between this proposal and the ones the Democrats were backing is that in this version the Attorney General simply has to file a court order within three days to make the NICS denial permanent. Not obtain — file. That’s it. Any normal person would consider that to be a reasonable request.
When it came time for the vote, 53 members of the Senate agreed that this was a good idea. 47 disagreed. The full vote record is available here for the curious, but here’s the interesting fact:
Every single Democrat, with the exception of Donnelly (D-IN) and Manchin (D-WV), voted against this common sense gun control proposal.
This is one of those situations that really gets under my skin. The Democrats had an opportunity to get exactly what they wanted, impose stricter firearms regulations, and close the “terror gap” that they’ve been screaming about for well over a year. But when it came time to vote they decided that they would rather have another opportunity to blame the Republicans and the NRA than to enact something that was just slightly less than an identical proposal they wanted.
So Senator Murphy, when you say that the Republicans are “selling guns to ISIS” just remember who is actually to blame: yourself.